During a recent discussion on the sexual assault claims leveled against NBC journalist Tom Brokaw, comedienne Whoopi Goldberg warned her co-hosts against dubbing Brokaw guilty before a thorough investigation is conducted.
Goldberg mentioned the Central Park Five case, in which a group of Black and Latino teens were accused of brutally raping a female jogger in New York’s Central Park in 1989. The teens spent between six and 13 years in prison before they were exonerated in the grisly assault.
“God knows we don’t want to sit through another group like we found with the Central Park Five, who went to jail for a crime they did not commit,” Goldberg said on a Monday episode of ” The View.” “The young lady didn’t accuse them; they were railroaded into a lot of what happened to them.”
The comedienne argued there’s an obligation to protect men as much as there’s an obligation to protect women and children when it comes to claims of sexual assault. However, she cautioned that a premature “guilty” stamp has the potential to ruin a person’s life. In the last year, the #MeToo Movement against sexual violence has prompted hundreds of victims to come forward and make claims against big Hollywood names like Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and Kevin Spacey.
“That’s all someone has to say is ‘you’re guilty,’ and that’s what rolls with you forever,” she said. “So I think we have to say, listen if it takes us everyday to … do the due diligence of [investigating rape claims] — we’ve got to make sure we do that. Because if we just start pointing and going, ‘ahh!” we’re gonna be in deep doo doo.”
Goldberg’s comments rubbed some viewers the wrong way, however. Many felt the award-winning actress used the Central Park Five case to defend Brokaw, who’s accused of sexually assaulting former colleague Linda Vester and making unwanted sexual advances toward another unnamed woman.
“Watch every woman on The View (except Sunny Hostin) break they neck to show skepticism over the woman accusing Tom Brokaw,” one viewer commented. “… Days ago powerful White women came out left and right to defend him despite not knowing anything.”
“All of them should shut the f–k up,” another user wrote. “Look at how many women defended Bill Cosby at first?”
Other critics took to Twitter to bash Goldberg for her remarks.
Yeah, Black People Yall wont believe this, BUT you will: @TheView's Whoopi-Buffoon-Goldberg just used the Central Park 5 to try and save white male Sexual Assaulter Tom Brokaw. Not once did she utter the Central Park 5 as a defense for the Black Man Bill Cosby. LOL This is crazy
— MassUpdater (@MassUpdater) April 30, 2018
What a bunch of hypocrites @JoyVBehar @WhoopiGoldberg now defending Tom Brokaw & Al Franken & Bill Cosby & Roman Polanski! All while calling any Republican valued woman derogatory names. This show is nothing short of pathetic
— KRMdad (@KRMD3) April 30, 2018