This week hasn’t been a great one for Whoopi Goldberg, and it’s only Thursday. The View co-host kicked off the week by stirring up controversy when, during a conversation on Monday’s show, she argued that the Holocaust “isn’t about race” then went on to say that it was about “two White groups of people.” By Tuesday morning, the comedian had issued several public apologies and expressed regret about her comments. Just hours later, ABC announced that while Goldberg had apologized, they were suspending her from The View for two weeks so that she could “reflect” on her comments. (Meghan McCain had thoughts on all of this, because of course she did.) Goldberg’s co-hosts are reportedly upset about her suspension, and now fellow comedian Sarah Silverman is coming to her defense, too. Sort of.
As Mediaite reports, Silverman discussed the Whoopi situation on today’s episode of The Sarah Silverman Podcast. While Silverman said she doesn’t agree with Goldberg’s comments, she didn’t think she was being anti-Semitic. As Silverman explained:
“Even though I believe she is incorrect, she’s not anti-Semitic. It’s semantics. Like what is race? I was actually looking up the word race. It’s very ambiguous; there’s no kind of one… definition and definition has changed over centuries and stuff. It’s… words, however you want to categorize whatever. And we know that Jews are hard to categorize because we’re shapeshifting vermin that control everything.”
To further her point, Silverman explained that “as a white Jew, Jews come in all colors,” and noted that “if Jews were considered white then white nationalists like the one in Orlando this past week wouldn’t be trying to get rid of us for tainting their pure whiteness.”
Silverman—who said that while she benefits from “white privilege,” she could also “be an atheist and still be killed by anti-Semites. Meaning, it’s that I was born Jewish that makes me the enemy, not because of my beliefs. And I think that’s where there’s a gray area with like Jews as race.”
Ultimately, Silverman concluded, “it’s semantics… and I have no desire to get into that.” You can listen to the full podcast here.