Whoopi Goldberg Makes Bold Claim About American Idol Allegedly Leading To 'Downfall Of American Society’ On The View

With the introduction of American Idol, reality television had introduced a new type of flavor to its menu; one that’s still running strong on the 2023 TV schedule. As the audience was able to vote on who would be the next singing sensation of the people, a traditional divide between the viewing public and the action was removed. Some may see this as a pivotal point in television history, but in the blunt opinion of Whoopi Goldberg, it’s contributed to “the downfall of American society.”

The outspoken host of The View voiced this opinion during the recent “Day of Hot Topics” episode on the popular ABC talk show. During a discussion that dug into the Netflix documentary Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me, what started as a discourse on using the terms “gold digger” and “sugar daddy” made way to a larger conversation on judgment. That in turn led Whoopi Goldberg to share remarks about the long-running singing competition show.

I think that we, as a society, love to watch stuff to judge folks. I’ve always thought that the beginning of the downfall of society was with, what’s the name of that show? [producer mentions American Idol?] Once we gave people the ability to judge other people, I think we ran amok with it, and it’s gone out of control.

It's a bold claim, but to be fair Whoopi’s views on American Idol were a bit more nuanced through her conversation with The View producer Brian Teta. In what sounded like an effort on Teta’s part to steer the discussion away from this criticism, Goldberg fleshed out her argument with the caveat that her criticism applied more to the Fox era of the show. 

Her opinion on the ABC variant of the series sounds like it comes from a more positive light, with more of what’s known as “The Simon Cowell Era” inspiring this commentary. That turn only makes the discourse even more interesting to grapple with, as supposedly Cowell’s American Idol rudeness was allegedly faked during his run on pop culture touchstone. 

It’s a subject that takes some interesting turns when you watch the full chain of events that took place. With that in mind, take a look at the full clip from The View that runs through this particular gauntlet:   

It wouldn’t be a day of Hot Topics on The View if a moment like  this didn’t come up. The legacy of the 26-year-old series has seen plenty of charged issues see this sort of treatment from time to time, and it’s also had its own history of hosts like Whoopi Goldberg attracting commentary from past co-workers like Rosie O’Donnell and Meghan McCain

Whoopi Goldberg wasn’t just taking American Idol to task in this opinion either. Before she even cited the long running reality competition show as a signal of supposed moral decay, there were other series that the Academy Award winner had used as examples of this “judgy” complex:  

People like to be judgy. You have Basketball Wives, you have the Housewives of whatever, all the Bravo shows, giving you the impression that you’re doing something wrong because you’re living your life. People watch these shows because they make them feel better.

The public at large may see this latest debacle as something that sticks out in the news cycle, but to viewers of The View it’s probably just another day at the office. With the series designed to stoke the fires and start a conversation on anything and everything, American Idol is far from the first or last subject that’ll turn heads with this group of commentators. That is especially true when considering that sometimes, the hottest topic on ABC's legacy series happens to be the alleged flatulence of hosts like Whoopi Goldberg. 

For those of you looking for your next dose of Hot Topics and beyond, The View can be found in its usual spot on ABC, Monday through Friday at 11 AM ET. Or if you want to catch up with past episodes, the convenience of a Hulu subscription will allow you to do just that at your leisure. Which, coincidentally, is also where you can watch American Idol, just in case you wanted to catch up on Season 21’s finale. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.