‘The View’ Cohost Whoopi Goldberg Says ‘American Idol’ Led to ‘the Downfall of Society’
Whoopi Goldberg has mixed feelings when it comes to American Idol. During Wednesday's episode of the ABC talk show The View, co-host Whoopi Goldberg, aged 67, made a bold statement, expressing her belief that American Idol marked the "beginning of the downfall of society."
During the daily Hot Topics segment on The View, Goldberg engaged in a somewhat contentious exchange with producer Brian Teta while discussing Netflix's documentary Anna Nicole Smith: You Don't Know Me. As the discussion moved toward reality shows, Goldberg commented on the influence of American Idol's early seasons, attributing them to sparking a widespread public interest in reality programming that promotes elements such as harsh criticism, dramatic conflicts, and explosive arguments, Deadline reported.
Goldberg pointed out that shows like Basketball Wives and various Housewives series on Bravo create a perception that individuals are somehow flawed or living their lives incorrectly. Providing an explanation for why these programs resonate with audiences, the EGOT winner said: "People watch these shows because they make them feel better. People like to be judgy, I think that we, as a society, love to watch stuff to judge folks. I've always thought that the beginning of the downfall of society was with, what's the name of that show?"
According to Page Six, Goldberg's question was directed toward Brian Teta who was off-camera. "ABC's American Idol?" Teta replied. This was a gentle reminder for Goldberg that the show she was criticizing was part of the same network that aired The View. Teta's comment elicited laughter from the live audience. Goldberg, in response, attempted to clarify her position by stating, "Well, it wasn't always on ABC."
American Idol initially premiered on Fox in 2002 and remained on the network until 2016. It made a comeback in 2018, and it now airs on ABC, with a new panel of judges consisting of country singer Luke Bryan, R&B icon Lionel Richie and popstar Katy Perry. While acknowledging that both American Idol and the talk show that Goldberg has been a part of since 2007 are housed on ABC, the children's book author concluded her statement: “Once we gave people the ability to judge other people, I think we ran amuck with it. And it’s gone out of control. They invited the public to decide who their person was, and I feel once we did that, it began us in a cycle which we have not — did you really just do that?” Goldberg elaborated.
"We've talked about this — that it's gotten better, you like it now, remember?" said Teta. Goldberg's co-hosts also chimed in. "You like it. ABC, she likes it. ABC, she loves it. It's really good," co-host Sunny Hostin inserted. Co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin pointed out that Goldberg was specifically referring to the "Simon Cowell era" of American Idol.
To this Goldberg said, "When I was watching it, ABC didn't have it. They have it now, it's a different show, it's a very different show. The judges are different from the people who are coming. ABC knows that I feel like this. I've told them. It had nothing to do with them, it had to do with the show."