Goldberg used her slot as a host of U.S. talk show The View on Monday (14Feb11) to slam the publication for a report about the lack of black winners in Academy Awards history, which was published on Sunday (13Feb11).
Writers Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott seemed to claim in a piece, entitled Hollywood and the Year of the Whiteout, that in the past 73 years, only seven black actors have won Oscars.
They referenced triumphs by the likes of Halle Berry and Denzel Washington – but film fans were left outraged by the article, because figures show 13 previous Oscar winners in the acting categories had been of black origin. Goldberg became one of the 13 when she claimed the Best Supporting Actress honour for her performance in Ghost in 1981.
Goldberg raged, “I am embarrassed to tell you, it hurt me terribly. When you win an Academy Award, that’s part of what you’ve done, your legacy. I will always be ‘Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg…’ It’s very hard not to take it personally, but this is sloppy journalism because this is not a hidden thing. Everybody kinda knows. People in Somalia know, people in China know…”
Now, a representative for the publication has issued a statement clarifying the report.
A spokesperson for The New York Times tells EW.com, “The error lies with those who are reading the story incorrectly.
“The point of the piece was not to name every black actor or actress who has been awarded an Oscar, it was to draw a comparison between the number who won prior to 2002 (the year Halle Berry and Denzel Washington won) and those who have won since.
“The story states very clearly that in 73 years, prior to 2002, only seven black actors/actresses won Oscars.”