The Whoopi Goldberg debacle is not totally the fault of Caryn Elaine Johnson, the African American comedienne who created the character of Whoopi Goldberg, a kind of bespectacled, dreadlocked, female John Falstaff.
It is at least partially the fault of Kimberly Godwin, who has been president of ABC News for nine months.
“The View” comes under the direction of Godwin and thus what happens on that show reflects on the credibility of the whole ABC news organization.
Godwin replaced James Goldston, a Brit, who after seven years “left” shortly after the racially tinged Barbara Fedida incident.
One must question Godwin’s judgment, which seems to confuse celebrity with fluency in history and political science. What kind of news boss allows a 66-year-old high-school dropout to bloviate at will about the machinations of Nazi Germany and perturb the entirety of the U.S. Jewish community while doing so?
While Johnson (a.k.a. Goldberg) must be acknowledged as an enormously successful show-business personality, being one of only 16 people to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award, she is simply not in the league of the late William F. Buckley, Jr., or for that matter, the late Gore Vidal.
Godwin, who is also an African American woman, has earned great news credentials, but inadvertently has created an even bigger social media storm by merely suspending Goldberg with pay for two weeks, while Rosanne Barr, who caused her own debacle in 2018, got fired immediately along with 200 plus other folks in the production company of her show who lost their jobs.
To be fair to Godwin, Barr came under the purview of another African American woman, Channing Dungey, who was president of ABC’s entertainment division and who fired her. (It is likely that the order came from then-Disney chairman Bob Iger, who is white, and Dungey immediately carried out the order under her name.) Dungey left ABC six months later.
Given the propensity for ABC to trip over itself, wouldn’t it be smarter either to demote Godwin back to executive vice president for news or take away some of her areas of responsibility as president, so she can focus properly?
Would it be an even better idea to ship “The View” back to ABC entertainment whence it came in 2014, and try to salvage the credibility of the ABC news department?
If Godwin remains in charge, perhaps she should fire Whoopi Goldberg, mandate six months of remedial education in world history, and bring her back as Caryn Johnson, late-middle-aged high school dropout who just happens to be a multimillionaire showbiz ace.