Whoopi Goldberg addresses 'conversation' over her Lindsey Graham gay joke on The View: 'It was a joke, guys'
During a conversation with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about Graham's conservative views on abortion and same-sex marriage, Goldberg seemed to make a joke about Graham's sexuality before the show went to a commercial break.
"Senator Graham said maybe about a month ago, in early August, that he believes, when it comes to marriage, when it comes to abortion, it's for the states to decide, so, Senator Graham, what changed?" Jean-Pierre asked, to which Goldberg responded: "Well, maybe he's getting married? Do it quick, because I know people are fooling around with our marriage rights, wherever you stand."
When The View returned from the break, Goldberg turned to the camera and spoke to the audience.
"I need to make clear that I was doing what I do as a comic. Sometimes I make jokes, and it was a joke, nothing more than that," the outspoken, Oscar-winning actress said. "I just got a whole conversation about people misunderstanding the joke. I mean, okay. I should probably never do this show again, if this is what it's coming to. It was a joke, guys."
Though Goldberg did not specify whom she had a "whole conversation" with about the joke's impact, a source close to the situation tells EW that the follow-up statement was a clarification she wanted to make on her own.
EW has reached out to Graham's office for comment.
Fans responded to Goldberg's remarks on Twitter, with many defending the joke about Graham's sexuality.
Said one, "I have no idea why she had to scale back on a suggestive subtle joke that half the country has already been speculating about anyway concerning Ms. Graham lol. You're fine Whoopi!"
Another said, "@WhoopiGoldberg is never cruel or inhumane in her comments. Relax y'all. Y'all know Linda Graham is a mess."
The View season 26 continues weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on ABC.