Many people have wondered why ABC talk show “The View” has not touched the Virginia Gov. Northam blackface scandal.
Now people are starting to place the pieces together and are wondering if the blackface and whiteface past of Whoopi Goldberg has something to do with it.
In the 1996 movie “The Associate” Goldberg plays a black woman who dresses in whiteface to get ahead in the business world.
Wikipedia describes the storyline for the movie in greater detail and one can see how it would be offensive.
Investment banker Laurel Ayres (Whoopi Goldberg) is a smart and single woman trying to make it up the Wall Street corporate ladder, until one day she finds out that she is passed over for a promotion, because she is a woman. Unable to face the fact that her less intelligent male protege, Frank Peterson (Tim Daly), has now become her boss, she quits and tries to start up her own company only to find out that the male dominated world of Wall Street is not interested in taking an African American woman seriously, and thus is forced to create a fictional white man, Robert S. Cutty (inspired by a bottle of Cutty Sark) to legitimate her talents and make her professionally relevant in said world. Ayres does extensive research into the cultural and performative codes of the culture she seeks to impersonate. Ayres’ financial wisdom is joined by the intelligent and computer-savvy secretary Sally Dugan (Dianne Wiest), who also was not properly recognized for her talents. Together they are able to become the most successful independent stockbrokers in the world while helping a struggling high-tech computer company stay afloat.
However, the ruse eventually runs into problems, as Cutty is still getting credit for Ayres’ great ideas, and competing firms and tabloid journalists are willing to do anything in order to bring the wealthy and elusive Cutty into the public and on their side. Thus Ayres is forced to get her best friend (who works at a nightclub as a female impersonator) to create an effective disguise in the mould of Marlon Brando to try to fool the naysayers; when that fails, she and Dugan decide to kill Cutty only to be charged with his murder. Frank uncovers the ruse and pretends that he is now the front man to world-famous Cutty.
The film ends with Ayres donning the Cutty disguise one last time to attend a meeting of the exclusive gentlemen’s club to accept Cutty’s awards and unmasking herself in order to teach the male-dominated industry the evils of racial and sexual discrimination. Ayres is finally given credit for her work and creates a huge business empire with her friends at the helm. Frank attempts to land a job with the business, only to be laughed off.
And it could be because Goldberg’s one time boyfriend Ted Danson dressed in blackface at a party for her, The Associated Press reported at the time.
Actor Ted Danson showed up in minstrel blackface and peppered his jokes with racial epithets at the Friars Club roast of his lover, comedian Whoopi Goldberg.
The former ″Cheers″ star offended Mayor David Dinkins, talk show host Montel Williams and others who said his performance was over the line, even for a function where the highest compliment is a crude, brutal insult.
Danson, appearing in a top hat and blackface with big white painted lips, used the word ″nigger″ more than a dozen times as he joked about his and Goldberg’s sex life and other topics.
With Dinkins about to arrive, Danson said, ″I was told, ‘The mayor’s coming, so be careful, don’t do any political jokes, just do ni**er jokes.’ ″
Dinkins, New York’s first black mayor, was introduced by Danson when he entered the room. Dinkins offered a few political jokes, read a city proclamation to Goldberg – a New York native – and left.
Dinkins later told the Daily News he ″was embarrassed for Whoopi and the audience and felt a tremendous sense of relief when it was over.″
Williams walked off the dais seven minutes into Danson’s monologue and left with his visibly upset wife.
″When Ted made the jokes about the racially mixed kids, and everyone knows my wife is white and just gave birth to our child, I could see my wife start to cry,″ Williams told the News. ″If that’s what Whoopi and Ted find funny in their bedroom, it’s not funny to the outside world.″
She began her rebuttal by saying, ″Ni**er, ni**er, ni**er, whitey, whitey, whitey. It takes a whole lot of (courage) to come out in blackface … I don’t care if you don’t like it. I do.″
Bob Saks, chairman of the Friars Club, said he was surprised that people were upset.
″Whoopi knew and so did all the black performers what was going to happen. It’s always way over the line – it’s supposed to be,″ he said.
Thanks to our good friends at The Federalist Papers for permission to republish this material.