The Slim-Fast (search) diet drink company has dumped Whoopi Goldberg (search) from its advertising because its executives were unhappy with remarks the comedian made at a recent political rally that mocked President Bush.
"We are disappointed by the manner in which Ms. Goldberg chose to express herself and sincerely regret that her recent remarks offended some of our consumers. Ads featuring Ms. Goldberg will no longer be on the air," Slim-Fast general manager Terry Olson said in a press release Wednesday.
Goldberg participated at a recent Democratic fund-raiser at Radio City Music Hall (search) in New York, joining performers such as John Mellencamp, Jon Bon Jovi, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Jessica Lange and John Leguizamo.
Whoopi Whacked: Who Do You Blame?
A sample of your responses:
I just sent Slim-Fast an email thanking them for their decision. It was Whoopi's fault, as it was entirely her choice to say what she did. No sympathy here.
West New York, NJ
Since when is freedom of speech not a constitutional law, even for an entertainer? I for one will be boycotting Slim Fast because as an American I totally stand behind our freedoms. Isn't that what makes us Americans?
I blame Whoopi, totally. What a disrespectful way to express her opinion. She has a right to express it, but she went way over the line.
Palm Bay, FL
She still has her freedom of speech, just apart from Slim-Fast. I think the blame is on Whoopi. Slim-Fast did nothing wrong. It's not like they told her to stop talking about it. They just don't want to be near her. Can you blame them?
Nothing has been done to erode Whoopi's right to free speech. However, her views definitely erode her public persona and it is that persona which makes her an attractive spokesperson. If that persona conflicts with the product she represents she should be removed. She still has the right to spew her venom, she just won't get paid for it.
What is a company expecting when they hire Whoopi Goldberg? Was Slim-Fast unaware of her views and how she freely and openly states them? If they were, then they are the ones to blame, not Whoopi.
What these celebrities just don’t seem to understand -- and I don’t know what language to explain it to them in -- that while they absolutely have the right to say whatever they want, I as the consumer have the right to not buy whatever product they are the spokesperson for. I guess it is one of the downsides of being a celebrity.
Slim-Fast is right to dump her. What concerns me more is which of the two Americas is Whoopi "the heart and soul of?”
St. Petersburg, FL
Whoopi for Whoopi, it's Slim-Fast’s loss. Let's see how fast they slim down (profits ). I'm glad Whoopi has the sense to say what is on her mind. The presidential election in November is one that will put this country back on course. With Edwards in there how can we lose?
Whoopi has the right to free speech just like we have the right to free speech. I'm proud of Americans for speaking out against public rudeness and off color comments against our President.
In Whoopi's defense, I can understand her getting the boot for using the competitor’s product but, for her to get the boot for expressing her own personal opinions in regards to something that has nothing to do with the product that she is promoting would lead me to believe that maybe the people at Slim-Fast may have over stepped their boundaries.
Even though Slim-Fast has the right to hire/fire anyone it chooses, it showed what its morals were when it hired Whoopi as a spokesperson. Thus, Slimfast deserves scrutiny.
Honey Creek, IA
Slim-Fast knows Whoopi does outrageous humor. And she is very funny. I don't agree with her politics (or her product endorsements), but this is America and she has a right to speak her mind. Slim-Fast knew they were hiring "lightning in a bottle," and they "sealed" that bottle at the first hint of a storm. Slim-Fast really is the "big loser."
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