Whoopi Goldberg said Wednesday that “American Idol” contributed to the “beginning of the downfall of society” ― a remark that led to an awkward moment between her and “The View” executive producer Brian Teta. (You can check out a clip of her remarks below)
“The View” co-host weighed in on the show’s influence days after 18-year-old Hawaii-born singer Iam Tongi won Season 21.
“We, as a society, love to watch stuff to judge folks,” Goldberg said. “You know, I’ve always thought that the beginning of the downfall of society was with ― what’s the name of that show? I always tell you that,” she continued, looking over to Teta.
“ABC’s ‘American Idol,’” replied Teta before the audience let out a laugh. ABC notably is also the network that airs “The View.”
Goldberg, who pointed out that the show began on another network (Fox), went on to explain her take on the competition.
“Because once we gave people the ability to judge other people, I think we ran amuck with it and it’s gone out of control,” said Goldberg.
Goldberg said that she doesn’t remember an instance where “so many people” judged a person’s talent. Teta and co-host Sunny Hostin chimed in that Goldberg likes the show now that it’s on ABC.
Goldberg said it was “a very different show” now than when it began.
“ABC knows that I feel like this. I’ve told them,” Goldberg said. “It had nothing to do with them, it had to do with the show. See, you starting stuff, man.”
“American Idol,” which debuted nearly 21 years ago, has relied on public participation since its inception, whether through call, text or online vote.
But the show isn’t the first to lean on at-home audience participation. “The Original Amateur Hour” ― a continuation of Major Bowes’ “Amateur Hour” radio program that brought Frank Sinatra and his Hoboken Four quartet to a national stage ― relied on viewers’ votes by phone and postcard.
Watch “The View” clip: