The View host Whoopi Goldberg appeared to deliberately omit the word “white” when she inaccurately described Broadway as “the great bright way.”
Goldberg made the comment during a segment featuring the cast of The Lion King, Frozen and Aladdin.
“First of all we wanna thank the Broadway cast of Lion King and Aladdin and the North American tour of Frozen for this wonderful surprise and for being the great bright way,” she said.
The great bright way?
As commentator Alex Belfield noted, “It is not the great bright way, it has never been the great bright way, it is the great white way.”
As this New York Post article explains, Broadway has been called ‘the great white way’ since 1880 because that is when electrical lighting was installed on the street.
“Prior to that, women would not go out in the city unescorted. It was just not considered proper. It also allowed them to extend the day. If you were on the street in the afternoon and it got dark you didn’t have to go home. The lighting also gave Broadway its nickname, the Great White Way,” states the article.
Belfield asked why Goldberg, one of the highest profile black Americans, is apparently uncomfortable with saying the word “white,” even in a sentence with no racial connotation whatsoever.
“I think this is so destructive and so revealing, Whoopi won’t say white – wow – and you wanna talk about inclusivity, you wanna talk about unity…not when there’s this kind of nonsense.”
“It has always been ‘the great white way’ but she won’t say it because she thinks that’s racist – I think that’s complete bullshit and I think it’s hugely concerning that a woman this important who is that successful for so many decades could be this racist.”
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