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Why Whoopi Goldberg is leaving ‘The View’ for ‘a while’

Whoopi Goldberg posing in round glasses and a black shirt
Whoopi Goldberg is on a break from “The View” while filming the six-episode fantasy series “Anansi Boys” in Scotland.
(Evan Agostini / Invision/Associated Press)
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Whoopi Goldberg is taking an extended break from “The View,” her co-host Joy Behar announced Monday on the daytime talk show.

The comedian and actor was absent this week from “The View” panel as Behar explained to the audience the reason for her hiatus. Filling in for Goldberg on Monday was Alyssa Farah Griffin, political commentator and former White House director of strategic communications under the Trump administration.

“If you’re wondering where Whoopi is, the girl’s got a movie she’s making and she will be back when she finishes whatever she’s doing,” Behar said. “So she’s gone for a while.”

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According to Variety, Goldberg is away filming Amazon’s “Anansi Boys” in Scotland. Based on the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name, the six-episode fantasy series stars Goldberg as a key villain: Bird Woman, the fearsome God of Birds who seeks revenge on Anansi, the trickster god of stories.

“I have been a fan of this book for a very long time, and when Neil Gaiman told me it was being brought to the screen, I did everything I could to be part of it to help make people aware of Anansi and all his magic,” Goldberg told Variety earlier this month.

Also among the main cast of the TV adaptation are Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Tiger), Emmanuel Ighodaro (Lion), Cecilia Noble (Elephant), Ayanna Witter-Johnson (Snake), Don Gilet (Monkey), Malachi Kirby (Charlie “Fat Charlie” Nancy and Spider) and Delroy Lindo (Mr. Nancy, a.k.a. Anansi).

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“When I first conceived ‘Anansi Boys,’ decades ago, I imagined Whoopi Goldberg as Bird Woman,” Gaiman — billed as a writer, executive producer and co-showrunner on the series — told Variety.

“I wasn’t able to meet her until 2018 ... At which point she mentioned that she had just finished listening to Sir Lenny Henry’s reading of ‘Anansi Boys,’ and that it was one of her favourite books. Sometimes things feel planned and inevitable, and we are incredibly lucky. She’s going to be scary.”

Goldberg’s leave of absence from “The View” comes months after ABC News suspended the comic from the program for two weeks. In February, the network punished Goldberg for widely criticized comments she made about the Holocaust.

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The entertainer promptly apologized for her remarks that month in a statement that read, “On today’s show, I said the Holocaust ‘is not about race, but about man’s inhumanity to man.’ I should have said it is about both.”

“As Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League shared, ‘The Holocaust was about the [Nazis’] systematic annihilation of the Jewish people — who they deemed to be an inferior race.’ I stand corrected,” she continued.

“The Jewish people around the world have always had my support and that will never waiver. I’m sorry for the hurt I have caused. Written with my sincerest apologies, Whoopi Goldberg.”

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