Is Whoopi Goldberg consistent when it comes her view on the practice of dressing in blackface?
On Wednesday’s (Nov. 16) edition of “The View,” Goldberg decided to broach the “hot topic” of the University of Southern Mississippi sorority sisters who were recently chastised for dressing up in blackface for a costume party. And she defended them, scoffing at the university’s decision to subject the girls to “cultural competency training.”
“The fact that they dug the Huxtables enough to want to dress like them says that they have cultural awareness,” said Goldberg. “There’s a difference between what the Huxtables look like and what actual buffoonery looks like.”
But, wait a minute. Isn’t buffoonery — or dressing in blackface in order to denigrate African-Americans a la a minstrel show — exactly what Whoopi’s then boyfriend, Ted Danson, did in 1993 at a Friars Club Roast for her? Because at the time she defended him, too — saying that people just didn’t get that the Friars Club was an anything goes atmosphere where “everything is fair game.”
Maybe it makes some sort of self-serving sense for Whoopi to omit the whole Danson thing. After all, even though she’s defending the practice (conditionally) in both instances, she probably doesn’t see any need to clue in “View”-ers who aren’t already aware of your evolving views on the whole blackface thing.
We wish Sherri Shepherd, who took issue with Whoopi’s defense and categorically called blackface wrong because of its shameful history, had called Whoopi on the carpet. Or that veteran news woman Barbara Walters, who once held Fidel Castro’s feet to the fire and was sitting three seats away talking about how sometimes political correctness is “incorrect,” had nailed her the ommission.
Well, since neither Sherri nor Barbara (nor Joy, who instead of calling BS on Whoopi showed a picture of herself dressed in blackface) brought it up, we will:
In 1993, Danson created a huge controversy when he appeared in blackface — full-on, no question about it minstrel show blackface — at the roast in honor of Goldberg. At the time, the two were dating and Goldberg not only defended him, but admitted that she had been in on planning the whole thing:
“We’ve gotten a lot of hate mail,” she told Jet at the time. “He’s been called a |n***** lover’ and people have said that if we had a kid they hoped he or she died. We decided to go over the top with it. If you think he’s a n***** lover, here he is in blackface. People took offense about it.”
What do you think? Is Whoopi right to defend the practice in either instance? And should she have fessed up about the whole Danson thing on “The View?”