“Scandal” alum Joshua Malina spoke out about the situation on “The View” that saw Whoopi Goldberg suspended over remarks she made about the Holocaust.
The actor has previously sounded off on topics of anti-Semitism in Hollywood. Most recently, he penned a lengthy op-ed in which he called out Warner Bros. for entertaining the idea of letting Mel Gibson direct “Lethal Weapon 5” despite a past history of blatant hateful remarks against the Jewish people.
However, when it comes to Goldberg, who was issued a two-week suspension from her daytime talk show by ABC after arguing with her co-hosts that the Holocaust was not about race, Malina, 56, noted that he does not believe the host has any hate in her heart toward the Jewish people.
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“To me, there is a bad person who is a Jew hater, and then there’s Whoopi Goldberg, who misspoke or needed to clarify or educate or discuss,” he explained to Page Six.
He went on to compare Goldberg’s scandal to that of the previous focus of his anti-Semitic criticism, Gibson.
“She’s getting a two-week suspension [from ‘The View’], and he [Gibson], every time I turn on my computer, he’s starring in a new movie. Apparently, he’s potentially going to direct ‘Lethal Weapon 5.’ Let’s keep our focus on the worst of it. I find it appalling.”
Goldberg argued that the Holocaust was more about “man’s inhumanity to man,” and disagreed with her co-hosts that white supremacy played a factor, saying that, in her view, it was white people subjugating and systematically murdering other white people.
The comments sparked an immediate backlash, which prompted the network to take action against her.
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“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” ABC News president Kim Godwin said in a statement Tuesday evening. “While Whoopi has apologized, I’ve asked her to take time to reflect and learn about the impact of her comments.”
“The entire ABC News organization stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends and communities,” Godwin added.
Malina, who co-hosts a podcast with Rabbi Shira Stutman called “Chutzpod!,” said that he doesn’t necessarily feel like Goldberg’s comments are indicative of someone who does not like Jewish people on any kind of internalized principle. However, he believes that what she said was deeply misguided.
“I didn’t hear what Whoopi said and thought, ‘That’s an anti-Semite. That’s someone that doesn’t like Jews.’ I just thought she was off,” he explained.
“My original take was I think there’s a lot of nuance in discussing, ‘What is race?’ I know I swabbed my cheek, sent it to a company and came back 89 percent Ashkenazi Jew, so I know it’s not just a religion, but I know you can convert to Judaism. I’m married to a woman who did convert.”
Malina sees a distinct difference between someone like Goldberg and someone like Gibson, who he pulled no punches against in his recent op-ed for The Atlantic.
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The character actor cited what he sees as unacceptable examples of Gibson’s behavior, rehashing the actor’s 2006 detention by a police officer for alleged drunk driving that led to an anti-Semitic rant directed at the officer, who was Jewish. He also noted the infamous 2010 voicemails in which Gibson could be heard using racist and misogynistic language directed at then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva and his “no contest” plea to charges of domestic battery against her the following year. Malina even noted how Gibson was spotted saluting former President Trump at a UFC event this summer.
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“This might feel like a smaller matter if it didn’t come at a moment when members of my tribe feel the walls closing in again. Jews were the victims in more than 50 percent of religious-based hate crimes last year,” Malina wrote. “In recent years, we’ve witnessed the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh, the murder at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California, Jewish students harassed on college campuses, European anti-Semitism on the rise—these are the headlines that make us feel unsafe. Is this really the time to glorify a man like Mel Gibson?”
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