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Whoopi Goldberg offends with comments about cultural appropriation

Actress and producer Whoopi Goldberg speaks to members of the audience during a press day for the play "Sister Act" at the New 42nd St. Studios in New York March 2, 2011.

Actress and producer Whoopi Goldberg speaks to members of the audience during a press day for the play "Sister Act" at the New 42nd St. Studios in New York March 2, 2011.  (Reuters)

African-American activists are shredding Whoopi Goldberg for suggesting that black women who wear blonde hair weaves are as guilty of cultural appropriation as anyone else who borrows another culture’s symbols or elements.

In her comments, during a segment on her ABC show, "The View," Goldberg appeared to downplay the current trend of calling people — especially celebrities — out for wearing clothing typical to a different culture or adopting the mannerisms of another group.

Goldberg and her hosts were discussing the flak that pop star Justin Timberlake got when he tweeted his support for actor Jesse Williams’ anti-racism speech at the BET awards last month. Co-host Sunny Hostin explained the meaning of the term cultural appropriation to her fellow panelists, saying that it is when “a dominant group in society exploits the culture of a less-privileged group without understanding that group’s experience.”

For much of the segment, Goldberg was silent. But then she took a more aggressive stance that seemed to take her co-hosts by surprise.

“If you are going to talk about appropriating and what’s cool and what’s not, then we are all in deep doo-doo because we are doing it to each other constantly,” Goldberg said. “Everybody is appropriating. Japanese are appropriating. Black folks are appropriating. Spanish people appropriate. We are appropriating each other. It’s not just a black thing.”

The backlash was fast and furious on Twitter.

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