Whoopi Goldberg has apologized for unknowingly using a slur against Romani people in a recent episode of The View.
In a conversation about the 2020 election, Goldberg was discussing how supporters of Donald Trump incorrectly believe that he won the presidency. She referred to them as "people who still believe that he got, you know, gypped somehow in the election."
The expression "gypped" is derived from "gypsy," an exonym for Romani people — a name given to them by outsiders. It is widely considered a slur, as it likens Roma communities to swindlers and thieves.
In a Twitter video posted to The View's official account, Goldberg apologized for using the word, explaining that she did not know the negative connotations.
"You know, when you’re a certain age, you use words that are from, you know, when you’re a kid or you remember saying. And that’s what I did today, and I shouldn’t have," she said, adding, "I should have thought about it a little longer before I said it, but I didn't. I should have said 'cheated,' and I used another word, and I’m really, really sorry."
University of Texas at Austin professor Ian Hancock, who is Romani, previously told NPR that many people — like Goldberg — are not aware that "gypped" is a problematic expression, or that it even has anything to do with the Roma people.
"I encounter a lot of people who tell me that they never knew the word 'gypped' had anything to do with gypsies, or that it's offensive — especially when the word is heard not read," he explained. "My response to them is, that's okay. You didn't know, but now you do. So, stop using it. It may mean nothing to you, but when we hear it, it still hurts."
Goldberg had another teachable moment when she came under fire last year for saying that the Holocaust "is not about race, but about man's inhumanity to man." She was suspended from The View for two weeks following the remarks, and immediately released an apology.
"As Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League shared, 'The Holocaust was about the Nazi's systematic annihilation of the Jewish people — who they deemed to be an inferior race.' I stand corrected," she wrote, adding, "The Jewish people around the world have always had my support and that will never waiver. I'm sorry for the hurt I have caused."
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