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Whoopi Goldberg reflected on the time she was left out in the entertainment wilderness after a joke about President George W. Bush backfired in 2004.
Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival in the events International Icon Interview, she said that her career came to a “gigantic halt” after the infamous incident, which saw her lose several gigs and not work for five years until Barbara Walters hired her for The View. But she denied that she had been canceled (a term that wasn’t in use at the time).
“I would describe that situation as a lot of people covering their backsides, because the joke was never about him,” she said. “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 say what I exactly said or what I said at all. But all somebody has to do is say you said it and that’s what happened. And we’re [now] seeing the same thing in many more ways, but I feel like the truth doesn’t seem to matter as much these days.”
After describing her own ceiling-smashing rise as a Black female comedian and actor in America, Goldberg was asked what she thought of the opportunities for women of color in the U.K. While she acknowledged that she’d “only worked” in Britain and hadn’t spent enough time living in the country, she said, “I can’t imagine there is a line of delineation of boneheads. There are boneheads everywhere! So I imagine we’re all having the same issues around the world.”
Finally, Goldberg touched on her well-documented desire to play Doctor Who, but admitted her nationality was probably going to prove too much of a hurdle to be cast as the noted Time Lord.
“I’m not going to lie. I would like to play Doctor Who, but I think it would mean an evolution of [Doctor Who] being American,” she said. “And I don’t know if that’s correct for Doctor Who. I don’t know if I can usurp that.”
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