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Whoopi Goldberg Calls ‘American Idol’ Society’s ‘Downfall’

Whoopi Goldberg at ‘The Piano Lesson’ Opening Night
Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

It’s a no from her. Whoopi Goldberg thinks American Idol is to blame for some of society’s problems —seemingly forgetting that the competition show airs on the same network as The View.

The 67-year-old EGOT winner shared the opinion during the Wednesday, May 24, episode of The View while the panelists were discussing the Netflix documentary Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me, which hit the streaming service on May 16. Goldberg argued that viewers tune in to such programming to pass judgement on others.

“You have Basketball Wives, you have the Housewives of whatever, all the Bravo shows, giving you the impression that you’re doing something wrong because you’re living your life,” the Sister Act star said. “People watch these shows because they make them feel better. … I think that we, as a society, love to watch stuff to judge folks.”

The New York native then turned to View executive producer Brian Teta, who was sitting in the studio audience, asking, “You know, 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.”

Teta, 46, immediately knew what program the Color Purple actress was referring to, and subtly reminded her that the show shares a network with The View. “ABC’s American Idol?” he replied, eliciting laughter from the audience.

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Ryan Seacrest and Luke Bryan on ‘American Idol’
ABC/Eric McCandless

Goldberg then quickly tried to backpedal by noting, “Well, it wasn’t always on ABC.” The reality competition series first aired on Fox from 2002 to 2016. In 2018, it returned, finding its new home on ABC with its current roster of judges — Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.

Despite recognizing that ABC is home to both American Idol and the talk show she’s been a part of since 2007, the children’s book author finished her point.

“Once we gave people the ability to judge other people, I think we ran amok with it,” she explained. “And it’s gone out of control.”

The television personality is no stranger to raising eyebrows with her hot takes. Last week, she made headlines by casting doubt on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s spokesperson saying that the duo had been involved in a “near catastrophic” car chase in New York City on May 16.

“Their spokesperson called it a near catastrophic car chase. Others said it wasn’t bad, but I think people in New York know if it was possible to have car chases in New York, we’d all make it to the theater on time,” Goldberg joked during the May 18 episode of The View.

She continued: “I think their spokesperson referenced something that you generally would reference in Los Angeles. That’s where you have chases, that’s where you can move at high speeds. I think they were dealing with aggressive paparazzi, but I don’t think it was where, you know, you’re watching on TV … just watching the cars go … because it just doesn’t work in new York.”

Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, were “shocked” by insinuations that the incident was overblown, a source exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this week.

“They insist their account of the car chase was absolutely not exaggerated, and for people to say otherwise is so hurtful and out of line,” the insider shared.

Per their spokesperson, the Duke of Duchess and Sussex were followed by “a ring of highly aggressive” paparazzi after leaving the 2023 Women of Vision Awards in NYC. “This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” a rep for the couple — who were traveling with Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland — claimed.

Goldberg, for her part, has gotten in hot water for her on-air comments several times over the years. In February 2022, she was suspended from The View for two weeks after alleging during a January 2022 episode that the Holocaust — which killed more than 6 million Jewish people — was “not about race” but about “man’s inhumanity to man.”

ABC News president Kim Godwin announced the Ghost actress’ suspension in a statement at the time. “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, family and communities,” the statement read.

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