Why Whoopi Goldberg Never Watches ‘The View’ — and Never Has

It’s been more than decade since Whoopi Goldberg won the moderator job at The View over Gayle King. In that time, Whoopi has just about seen it all on the show.

She’s called bulls**t on Donald Trump, clashed with Rosie O’Donnell on the air, and watched as Barbara Walters reluctantly retired. In the post-Barbara era, Whoopi has been the familiar, commanding presence at a table with fairly high turnover.

With that long a connection to the show, you might think Whoopi was as invested in The View as Barbara (or even as Rosie was in her two brief stints). But that doesn’t seem to be the case. In a New York Times Magazine interview, Whoopi said The View wasn’t really enough for her.

Given her past in theater and Hollywood, you can see how that makes sense. But Whoopi went one further — she said she never watches the show, and never really did.

Whoopi doesn’t seem particularly interested in daytime talk.

Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg | Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

While actors often don’t watch themselves in shows and films they’ve done, Whoopi’s case on The View is different. For starters, she’s not playing a part; she’s being herself (at least to a degree).

In one revealing aside, she told the Times’s David Marchese she’s “in a way playing a role on the show.” She explained, “These are not conversations that I’m having with my friends. […] My friends and I can talk about things in depth in a different way than you can on television.”

Most fans of Whoopi probably get what she means by this statement. For one thing, you can’t use profanity or discuss taboo subjects on a show that airs on ABC. Meanwhile, you always have to cut for commercial breaks.

It’s clear Whoopi has a lot to say — and many people would like to hear it. However, you’re never going to get the full Whoopi on The View.

When Marchese asks how The View became such an important show in the national conversation, Whoopi answers, “I don’t really watch the show, so I don’t know. And I didn’t watch the show before I was on. I guess there’s nothing else like it.”

Whoopi’s creative interests occupy most of her free time.

Whoopi Goldberg 'The View'
Whoopi preps a tune during “The View’s” Karaoke Contest in 2016. | Lou Rocco/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

When Whoopi said — volunteered, actually — that The View wasn’t enough for her, she was referring to her creative energies. It’s easy to forget Whoopi began her career as a powerhouse performer in the theater.

It was while performing her Spook Show that she got the attention of Mike Nichols, Alice Walker, and (through Walker) Steven Spielberg. You can draw that line directly to her audition and subsequent Oscar nomination for The Color Purple.

These days, Whoopi sounds a bit restless. She has her own clothing line and is working on a THC product line. Meanwhile, she’s filming a TV adaptation of The Stand with Amber Heard and James Marsden.

But does that mean her time will soon be up on The View? Whoopi isn’t saying, but reading through her interview could certainly suggest she’s leaning in that direction.

Also see: What Did Whoopi Goldberg Win Her Grammy, Tony, and Emmy Awards for?