Whoopi Goldberg has a bit of a reputation for forgetting to think before she speaks on The View, and a comment she made earlier this week only added to it. During Wednesday’s live taping of the ABC talk show, the co-host slipped up, by talking smack about a show that also airs on ABC. Whoopi, you’ve got to keep it all in the family!
“We, as a society, love to watch stuff to judge folks,” Goldberg said. “I’ve always thought that the beginning of the downfall of society was with—what’s the name of that show? I always tell you that,” she continued, pointing to an off-screen producer for help with the show’s title.
The at-first unseen producer, who seemed to want to suggest that Goldberg stop denouncing a fellow ABC series, responded, “ABC’s American Idol?”
“Well—” Goldberg responded, before being cut off by bursts of laughter from her co-stars and the live audience. “It was not always on ABC! When it began, it was on another network.”
American Idol first aired on Fox in 2002, though it later switched to ABC in 2018, after a two-year hiatus from the air. The series has, indeed, become famous for hokey audition sequences, in which audiences (usually) laugh at bad vocalists, as they attempt to garner fame by appearing on the show. While Simon Cowell was infamously the cruelest member of the judging panel in the show’s initial iteration, Katy Perry has become the “mean judge” on the ABC version. She’s gone viral for giving brutal judging feedback during the audition round. (And I love it! Sorry, Whoopi.)
After Goldberg’s gaffe, co-host Joy Behar asked, “You think the downfall of American society began with…”
“American Idol!” Goldberg confirmed. “And I’m going to tell you why. Because once we gave people the ability to judge other people, we ran amok with it. It’s gotten out of control,” she said. “Once we did that, it began us in a cycle of—did you really just do that?”
At this point in the clip, it’s a little unclear as to what’s happening. Goldberg looks off-stage, presumably to the same producer as before, who is telling her to stop ranting and raving about American Idol.
“It’s gotten better, and you like it now, remember?” producer Brian Teta says, now on-camera. He’s silently pleading with Goldberg: “Please stop with the crummy attitude towards ABC shows! We need to promote ABC shows!” (While he did not say this, I can only imagine it’s what he was thinking at that moment.)
But Goldberg vs. ABC is an unstoppable force that meets an immovable object.
“No!” she persists. “When I was watching it, ABC didn’t have it.” She can’t stop slamming American Idol. There’s no coming back from this now. “ABC knows that I feel like this. I’ve told them. It has nothing to do with them—it has to do with the show.”
Then, one last dig at Teta: “See, you’re starting stuff, man.”
The View has had quite a few contentious moments that have gone viral and even been repurposed as memes over the years. My favorites include a very tired “OKAY” from Goldberg, and “I’d let them put an iPod Nano between my shoulder blades if it means I can get drunk at Caesar’s Palace again,” from Meghan McCain—and this is my formal plea to make Goldberg’s hatred for American Idol a full-blown cultural moment. Let’s just hope Simon Cowell (or Perry, for that matter) isn’t invited to be a guest on The View anytime soon.