Whoopi Goldberg has defended the Oscar-starred audience for giving Will Smith a standing ovation after punching Chris Rock – saying calling Hollywood types hypocritical ‘elite’ is akin to racism.
The actress – who returned to ‘The View’ after being suspended for saying the Holocaust was ‘not about race’ – came to the defense of her celebrity colleagues on Thursday after rejecting Smith’s slap in the face on stage, with his shrug, “Things happen.”
‘View’ co-host Tara Setmayer had been outraged by the chic audience reaction, insisting there had to be “a lot of self-reflection in Hollywood.
“They gave [Smith] a standing ovation,” she noted.
“Which goes back to why some people feel like Hollywood elites are a bunch of hypocrites,” added the show’s only conservative voice.
Goldberg – who is governor of the Academy’s acting branch and won her own Oscar in 1991 as Best Supporting Actress for the movie “Ghost” – quickly cut her fellow host.
“I’m sorry, as one of those people, I have to stop you,” Goldberg quipped.
“I just want to stop with all this ‘elite’ stuff, because a lot of us work for a living,” she said, insisting that while “some are making millions of dollars” , it’s “not everyone” in the film industry.
“And it really pisses me off when people start talking about people who work in Hollywood, not just actors, but everyone else. … So please, when you’re talking about actors, be specific.
“If you’re pissed about someone or the way they’re acting, don’t put it on all of us — because that’s like saying all black people like chicken,” she said, likening it to a crude racial trope.
Goldberg suggested the standing ovation, which included several of Hollywood’s biggest names, stemmed from “people just standing up and doing stupid stuff.”
“I wasn’t there, but I’m giving the benefit of the doubt because I’ve been in those situations,” she said defensively.
Smith jumped out of his seat and rushed Rock, a presenter, onto the stage at the awards show on Sunday after the comedian made a joke about the balding wife of ‘Men in Black’ superstar Jada Pinkett Smith, which is caused by alopecia.
Smith, who belted a stunned Rock in the face, received a standing ovation minutes later while accepting the Best Actor Oscar for the tennis drama “King Richard.”