Whoopi Goldberg Disagrees With Viola Davis’ Emmy Speech, Says It Is More About Votes Than Opportunities

Whoopi Goldberg has never been afraid to express her opinions, which is why she is a perfect fit for The View. However, her latest spew wasn’t on her ABC talk show. She sat down for an interview with BET, where she was asked her thoughts on Viola Davis’ Emmy speech last month. The actress/comedian responded by saying that she was a bit confused on what was said, and that she thinks there are plenty of opportunities for African-American women in Hollywood, as reported by People.

Viola’s speech was applauded by most, and was a hit on social media. She was the first African-American woman to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Drama for her hit ABC series, How to Get Away With Murder. She turned her acceptance speech into her own platform on stage, with the Emmy in hand. After quoting Harriet Tubman, the talented actress talked about the lack of opportunities for black women.

“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.”

onstage during the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

However, Whoopi Goldberg seemed to be confused on what Viola Davis meant by what she said in her speech. She expressed her confusion to the interviewer when asked about it.

“Well, I’m not sure what it means. Opportunity to do what? Do you know what I mean? The truth of the matter is there’s been plenty of opportunity. I mean, Scandal. Let’s just start with that. Kerry Washington is there and she’s working her booty off, okay? But they didn’t vote for her. So, maybe the question is, what do you have to do to get voted on? That’s the thing.”

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Goldberg sounded like she was saying that it wasn’t the lack of opportunities for women of color, but it was the fact that these actresses are not getting the votes needed to give them the recognition they deserve. She believes that now that Davis has been given the “pat on the back” for her talent by winning that Emmy, this will in turn help more black women to get more jobs in the entertainment industry.

“If you don’t get the pat on the back that says, ‘Yes it’s okay to hire these women.’ See now there will be more parts, more dramas, because Viola won the Emmy award. So they’ll hire more black women.”

Whoopi had grabbed her “pat on the back” in 1991 by winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Oda Mae Brown in Ghost. Her speech was quite different than Viola’s. Goldberg ended hers by saying that she is proud to be an actor and that she will keep on acting. She said nothing about not being given opportunities.

However, as Vulture has pointed out, Whoopi Goldberg did comment to actor Jason Schwartzman back in June that there doesn’t seem to be any “folks of color” in his Wes Anderson film, The Overnight. Does this contradict her recent comment on Viola Davis?

The co-host may get some flak for her words on this issue, but Goldberg is not new to controversy anyway. Neither is Nancy Lee Grahn, the soap actress who got herself into hot water after her comments made during Viola’s Emmy speech.

The General Hospital star went on a rant, criticizing her speech, saying that Davis has never been discriminated against in the industry and that all women, whatever race they happen to be, never gets the recognition or opportunities they deserve. According to E! News, Grahn had apologized for her comments, but the damage was done by then, getting haters from everywhere.

Whoopi Goldberg sounds off. Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Carmen Marc Valvo

However, for Whoopi Goldberg, she believes that there are plenty of opportunities out there for African-American women.

“It’s not that the opportunity is not there. We’ve had lots of opportunities.”

Are you in agreement with Whoopi Goldberg? Do women of color have as many opportunities as everyone else?

[Photo by Getty Images]