Whoopi Goldberg Slams Cancel Culture, Restates Aim to Play Doctor Who

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Whoopi Goldberg has frankly dissected cancel culture during a freewheeling session at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Tuesday where she delivered the annual International Icon Interview.

In conversation with presenter and journalist Jackie Adedeji, Goldberg, a recent Variety cover star, spoke about the time when her career stalled after she allegedly joked about President George W. Bush in 2004. When Adedeji asked Goldberg whether she considered herself as having been canceled at the time, Goldberg said, “No. I would describe that situation as a lot of people covering their backsides, because the joke was never about him. But no one ever stood up and said, ‘Hey, here’s what actually happened.’ And they put it in the newspaper. And you notice, they’d never seen what I exactly said, or what I said at all. But all somebody has to do is say you said it.”

“I feel like the truth doesn’t seem to matter as much these days,” Goldberg said.

Addressing cancel culture directly, Goldberg said, “Because there is cancel culture, people will call or text and say ‘I’m not buying your product. This is who you have talking about your product, me and my five million followers — if you keep her — we’re not going to buy your car, or we’re not going to buy your shampoo or we’re not going to buy your toothbrush or we’re not going to buy your Pampers,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg said she was out of work for five years after the Bush incident and bounced back when Barbara Walters offered her a hosting gig on “The View.”

“Lucky for me, Barbara Walters offered me a job and said, ‘Hey, would you like to do this?’ And I was like, ‘You know, I’m not in favor in the general public.’ She said, ‘You’ll be perfect.’”

Elsewhere, talking about opportunities in the media industry for people of color, Goldberg said there were “boneheads” everywhere in the world who were barriers to entry.

“I believe that it has been hard, but that’s why more women of color have to write the things they want to see,” Goldberg said. The actor said that newcomers have to make their work available on platforms like YouTube and TikTok. “Now, if you want to get famous from it, that’s a whole other conversation. But if you get the work done, learn how to do everything, you can do it on YouTube. The industry could help new talent by just opening their eyes.”

Playing the quintessentially British character Doctor Who has long been one of Goldberg’s stated aims and she reiterated her desire at the Edinburgh talk.

“I would like to have played Doctor Who but I think it would mean an evolution into being American,” Goldberg said. “I don’t know if that’s correct for Doctor Who. I don’t know if I can usurp that.”

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