Whoopi Stirs Up ‘The View’ With Michael Vick Comments

NEW YORK, NY (September 5, 2007) The outspoken Rosie O’Donnell may be gone from “The View,” but controversy still finds its way onto the daytime talk show.

Whoopi Goldberg debuted as the show’s new co-host just yesterday, but today she’s defending herself over comments she made regarding the Michael Vick dogfighting case.

When Vick came up as a subject during the “hot topics” portion of yesterday’s show, Goldberg said that in the “deep south” culture he came from, dogfighting was not such an unusual practice. She indicated that to some people of that region, dogs are considered “sport.”

“It’s like cockfighting in Puerto Rico,” said Whoopi. “There are certain things that are indicative to certain parts of the country.”

Vick, an Atlanta Falcons quarterback who grew up in Newport News, Va., pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges last week, admitting that he provided money for a dogfighting ring that operated on his Virginia property, and helped kill six or eight pit bulls.

“I just thought it was interesting, because it seemed like a light went off in his head when he realized this was something that the entire country didn’t appreciate,” Goldberg said yesterday.

On today’s episode of “The View,” Whoopi responded to the headlines generated by yesterday’s comments by saying that she was never defending Vick’s actions, nor was she “condoning” what he did.

She said the media had misunderstood her, joking that they had her “eating dogs” and “swingin’ `em by the tail.”

Later in the show, when Barbara Walters said that they’d be announcing a new co-host this coming Monday, Whoopi joked, “I was only here a day! You’re replacing me already?”

Goldberg is not the only celebrity to bring up the notion of Vick’s actions being informed by culture. Jamie Foxx spoke on the subject two weeks ago in an interview with Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson:

“It’s a cultural thing, I think,” Jamie said. “Most brothers didn’t know that, you know. I used to see dogs fighting in the neighborhood all the time. I didn’t know that was fed time. So, Mike probably just didn’t read his handbook on what not to do as a black star.”

“I know that cruelty to animals is bad, but sometimes people shoot people and kill people and don’t get time,” Jamie continued. “I think in this situation, he really didn’t know the extent of it, so I always give him the benefit of the doubt.”

Vick, who has been suspended indefinitely from the NFL, is scheduled to be sentenced on the dogfighting charges in December.

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