Whoopi Goldberg has said it once and now she’s said it again.
The View co-host shocked her fellow hosts as she defended ESPN sports analyst Stephen A. Smith after his controversial remarks about domestic violence.
In May, while commenting on the infamous Jay Z and Solange elevator attack, Goldberg said the rapper would have been justified if he had decided to hit his sister-in-law back.
Now “First Take” co-host Smith is facing backlash after he shared his thoughts on footballer Ray Rice’s two-game suspension for allegedly punching his wife unconscious in June.
Smith said on-air that women shouldn’t do “anything to provoke wrong actions,” although he did add that it’s never OK for a man to hit a woman.
On Monday’s episode of The View, Goldberg sided with Smith saying, “If you hit somebody, you cannot be sure you are not going to get hit back… You have to teach women; do not live with this idea that men have this chivalry thing still with them.”
She added, “So don’t be surprised if you hit a man and he hits you back.”
Goldberg’s co-hosts were taken aback by the comment, and guest host Sunny Hostin said that Goldberg was trying to “blame the victim.”
“Oh, my God, that is not blame the victim,” Goldberg responded. “I just said, don’t anybody hit anybody. But if you make the choice as a woman who’s 4 foot 3, and you decide to hit a guy who’s 6 feet tall, and you’re the last thing he wants to deal with that day and he hits you back, you cannot be surprised.”
She never appeared to assert that it was acceptable for a man to ever hit a woman.
In spite of the backlash from social media and her co-hosts, Goldberg is sticking to her stance on the issue.
Smith, on the other hand, has already apologized for the comments, calling it “the most egregious error” he’s made in his career.
“On Friday, speaking right here on ‘First Take’ on the subject of domestic violence, I made what can only amount to the most egregious error of my career,” Smith said during the taped segment. “My words came across that it is somehow a woman’s fault. This was not my intent. It is not what I was trying to say. Yet the failure to clearly articulate something different lies squarely on my shoulders.”
While not everybody was content with the on-air apology, ESPN made it clear that Smith will not be losing his job over the comment.
“We will continue to have constructive dialogue on this important topic,” a public statement from ESPN read. “Stephen’s comments last Friday do not reflect our company’s point of view. As his apology demonstrates, he recognizes his mistakes and has a deeper appreciation of our company values.”