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Whoopi Goldberg on Oscars Controversy: ‘I Won Once, So It Can’t Be That Racist’

Whoopi Goldberg and the ladies of The View continued to tackle the ongoing #OscarsSoWhite controversy on Monday, January 25. This time, their discussion was centered on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and its pledge last Friday to double its minority and female membership by 2020.

“The issue is not the Academy,” Goldberg, 60, said. “Even if you fill the Academy with black and Latino and Asian members, if there’s no one on the screen to vote for, you’re not going to get the outcome that you want.”

She used her own Oscar win as an example. “I won once,” recalled Goldberg, who received the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1991 for her role in Ghost. “So it can’t be that racist.” Goldberg is one of 12 stars to ever accomplish “EGOT” (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award) status, a term coined by actor Philip Michael Thomas and made famous by Tracy Jordan in Tina Fey’s NBC comedy 30 Rock. 

Related: PHOTOS: Oscar Snubs: Most Overlooked Films, Stars and Shocking Losses in Academy Awards History

Whoopi Goldberg in 2011.
Whoopi Goldberg in 2011.

Goldberg said the problem is the absence of black actors in leading film roles. “You need directors and producers who will say, ‘Hey, what about so and so?’” Goldberg continued. “They need to be aware that the picture is not complete.”

The Color Purple actress first revealed her thoughts about the Oscars boycott last Tuesday, January 19, following Jada Pinkett Smith’s announcement to not attend the 2016 ceremony. On The View, Goldberg said the decision to boycott was a “slap in the face” to host Chris Rock.

Related: PHOTOS: Oscars 2016 Best Picture Nominations: See the Complete List

“You wanna boycott something? Don’t go see the movies that don’t have your representation. That’s the boycott you want,” Goldberg said. “To me, we have this conversation every year. It pisses me off.”

Whoopi Goldberg in 1991.
Whoopi Goldberg in 1991.

Other stars — including Will Smith, Stacey Dash, Matt Damon, Nick Cannon and Ice Cube — have shared opposing takes on the controversy. Dash sparked controversy for arguing that networks like BET, as well as celebrations like Black History month, should be done away with entirely, while Cannon said he was looking forward to Rock taking control of the dialogue during the show.

Rock will host the 88th annual Academy Awards, airing live on Sunday, February 28, at 7 p.m. EST on ABC.

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