We can all feign shock and disapproval of Whoopi Goldberg’s comments made in support of Mel Gibson in light of accusations that he beat his girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, but we all know that scandal sells. Whoopi is selling her show, ‘The View‘. And creating controversy in any way — from starting a feud with Donald Trump to supporting the most hated celebrity this week — will drive ‘The View’ to the forefront of media coverage for the current news cycle. Welcome to Publicity and Marketing 101.
Okay, so Whoopi didn’t get into defending Mel against allegations of domestic abuse. She did, however, claim that he wasn’t a racist, based on her experiences with him. While Mel allegedly admitted to beating Oksana on audio tapes, he also spewed racial epithets, which Whoopi defended earlier this week on ‘The View.’ “You can say he’s being a bonehead but I can’t sit and say that he’s a racist having spent time with him in my house with my kids,” she said. “I can’t say it and so I really just need to say that. I don’t like what he’s done. Make no mistake.”
Yesterday, Whoopi defended her statements, and spoke out against people who were railing against her on blogs and someone who called her office and yelled at an employee. “Being a black woman, you think you would give me a little bit of leeway to have some feel if I was around a racist,” she said. “But okay, I understand you don’t get it….but then people called my office and went off on the young lady that works there. You’re gonna call cause you think that I’m doing something wrong, and you do the same thing to this young lady, that you don’t even know, that Mel Gibson supposedly did? You can kiss my behind!”
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Yes, Whoopi is entitled to her opinion, but having such a controversial opinion, one that is sure to get picked up by blogs as well as the mainstream press, can be seen as a bit contrived. Certainly, The Viewladies are under the mandate to stir the pot. And Whoopi’s pro-Mel proclamations have definitely raised the visibility of the show. Yesterday, we did a Google News search for “Whoopi Goldberg The View,” which turned up 410 references in the past 24 hours. Compare that to the 435 references in the past month — and that includes the 410 from the day before. Undoubtedly, this little outburst has made the daytime talk show relevant again, even with a bad connotation. It’s like when Whoopi was among the supporters of Roman Polanski last year.
It seems like Whoopi has a definite newsmaking M.O., we just wish she didn’t have to dig into the lower reaches of the celebrity universe to do it. Her opinions may be valid and real, but they just come across as publicity ploys.