Following her support of Mel Gibson earlier this week, over the ongoing 'racism' row affecting the Hollywood star, Whoopi Goldberg has now defended herself.
On Tuesday, during an edition of the ABC US talk show, The View, Goldberg spoke up for Gibson, saying that she didn't believe he was a racist. She said of her friend that she didn't like what he'd done, but that:
"I don't like what he did here but I know Mel, and I know he's not a racist.
"I have had a long friendship with Mel. 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."
Joy Behar then challenged her co-host's defence of Gibson.
Referring to an incident in 2006, when the actor unleashed an anti-Semitic tirade against a police officer who arrested him for drink-driving, Behar asked Goldberg if she believed Gibson was anti-Semitic.
Goldberg replied, "I think he's an asshole. Drunks say stupid stuff to people all the time ... because they're drunk, they're out of control, they're not thinking, they're idiotic."
Now, according to the Los Angeles Times blog, Goldberg "didn't defend Mel Gibson's alleged rants [but] made a personal observation, based on her time with him".
Since her views were made, Goldberg has received criticism from members of the public, who have attacked her on blogs and in phone calls to her office. The LAT blog quotes her as saying:
"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.
"OK, I understand that, but that 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?"
Earlier this week, another Hollywood actor, Robert De Niro, spoke about the controversy surrounding Gibson's reported remarks.