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Whoopi Defends Dogfighting on The View

Written by PETA | September 5, 2007

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CityUniversity/Creative Commons

Whoopi Goldberg certainly didn’t shy away from controversy on her first appearance on The View—she came right out and offered the following defense of Michael Vick:

“He’s from the South, from the Deep South … This is part of his cultural upbringing”

I have no idea where she got that one from, but I can tell her right now that there are an awful lot of people in the South who’d be pretty upset by the implication that electrocuting animals is somehow “part of their heritage.” Or, as PETA President Ingrid Newkirk put it in the letter she wrote to Whoopi yesterday,

“Those who fight dogs do so in New York, Chicago and even the Republic of Ireland, and what unites them is lawlessness and callousness, not whether they eat grits or Belgian waffles for breakfast.”

Michael Vick needs a lot of things right now—some serious counseling for a start—but he doesn’t need anyone to give him lame excuses for his decision to torture dogs for pleasure and profit. He needs to face that horrible fact all by himself.

Ingrid spoke with Whoopi on the phone last night after she received the letter, since Goldberg actually has a good track record with animals outside of this incident, and Whoopi explained that she had never intended to appear accepting of cruelty. Let’s hope she makes up for it with some positive comments about animals on The View after this rocky start.


Commenting is closed.
  • Dana says:

    I just love it when people go on talk shows and make comments of things they know absolutely nothing about!!! I am from the deep south and let me tell you now this is not part of a cultural upbringing. Why on earth would you even associate this barbaric sadistic cruel inhumane action to anyone upbringing. So in her mind anyone from the south is part of a culture that dog fighting? NOT!!!!!!!!! Why is it that when people seem to take a seat on the view their IQ drops way down? The meaning of culture people with shared beliefs and practices a group of people whose shared beliefs and practices identify the particular place class or time to which they belong So because a group of people like Michael Vick share a belief that dog fighting is a sport and is entertainment based on his culture no less of being raised in the deep south his dog fighting charges should be excused according to Whoopi??? Slavery at one time was part of peoples cultural upbringing does that mean that it was fair and ethical? I dont think so!!! Let me tell you this I live in the deep south….I am aware that dog fighting is around but it is so low key that our humane society has never had to deal with fighting dogs being seized and coming into the shelter. I do not know anyone that dogfights….nor have I ever been to a dog fight!!!!! So saying that in the deep south it is cultural upbringing is just plain stupid……..

  • Binky says:

    There are 53 dogs that were seized from Michael Vick’s home who’s going to save them for they surely will be put to death.

  • Courtney says:

    Thank you John Yamrus! I couldn’t agree with you more!!

  • fred stone says:

    If Whoopi really believes what she’s saying then I guess she would agree that slavery was ok because in the south the deep south slavery was part of the culture so it was acceptable. Right Whoopi!

  • J says:

    The statements on The View are political. “Whoopie” knew exactly what she was doing. By saying it is the black cultural “thing” is horrible. So I guess we better not vote for Obama because he is black. …better vote for Hillary. I think the View is the same as porn. Very sleasy and with their own agenda. Very sad that Whoopie thinks its ok to kill dogs. Channel is now on NBC.

  • kate says:

    I canoot believe that the VIEW is now dishing with Whoopie who is so clearly uneducated biased and without a clue! I lived in the South and dogfighting is NOT accepted. Plus Vick killed dogs outright! he is a LIAR and continues to lie He is a disgrace and I put Whoopie on that list also. The VIEW needs to get rid of Whoopie and that airhead Elizabeth . The show is a disgrace. I refuse to ever watch it again. She is disgusting.

  • John Click says:

    Thanks for your strong stand against dog fighting. I can’t write the same for SPCA so Marie and I are diverting future donations from SPCA to HSUS.

  • patricia marion hennessey says:

    How could she say that. Don’t she know lovegentleness.Don’t she know abuse of an animal leads to abuse of humans and worse. Maybe she should stop talking and start thinking. Maybe people should stop talking about Vick and start taking more about the dogs.

  • Bill Campbell says:

    Reading the above comments makes me realize alot of people open the mouths before knowing what they are talking about. Goldburg was indeed correct! I’ve seen the same activity in “GOODY GOODY” Arlington Virginia. There are a bunch of kids out there who grew up with this and if you where to ask them why they engage in such a ” gross activity” they would respond by asking why don’t you go after the “White Guy” hiding up a tree with a bow and arrow just waiting on a buck to walk by or waiting behind a bush with a high powered gun aimed at the head of an unsuspecting animal just doing what was intended for them not harming anyone! WHAT VICK AND HIS GROUP DID WAS WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! But if you’re going to go after one you have to go after all! Stop the breeding of dogs like the pit yea lets start there. Stop bringing dogs into cities that don’t have any room or other aminities that should be there. And besides most people who have dogs don’t even know how to care for them! I would have alot more respect for PETA if it was truly about what they profess and not just ready for the next camera shop! I love dogs but I don’t live in a place where a dog would be happy so I don’t have one. LETS GET REAL PEOPLE!

  • Brandi says:

    I can’t believe that someone can say it is part of their cultural upbrining. I am from Arkansas. That is the “deep south” she refers to and I DO NOT believe I was ever taught to fight dogs. I think it is cruel twisted and that whoever can do this to an animal can do the same to people. Cruel animal acts are often the start of violence against humans. I think that Whoopi needs to visit the “deep south” and ask a few of us what we think.

  • Tiffany says:

    This is a comment in PRAISE of Whoopi! Kudos to Barbara and The View producers for adding her to the show. I will be honest and admit that I am NOT a daytime television viewer I am usually at work during the time that The View airs. However what a treat to see one of the most thoughtprovoking profound accomplished socially conscious and aware actresses of our time take the helm and handle it with ease class and grace! In support of Whoopi and her comments on Tuesday’s show I am writing this message. I too have been in the space of unpopular opinion in articulating the same position that Whoopi shared on Michael Vick. Add to that that I am an African American woman a Chrisitan a Vegan vegetarian a rabid football fan and a denizen of San Francisco the home of the “dog beach!” Michael Vick was silly to not be more aware of his behaviors and the impact it could’ve had on his career. I am sad how it all went down. However I don’t think that dogsanimals should EVER be elevated to the level of humans. God gave man and woman! dominion over the earth and all that is in it so by that definition alone we are ABOVE animals!! I AGREE that we should not abuse them. But to have the entire country up in arms over this dogfighting issue when we have allowed the atrocities of situations like Abu Ghraib to slide by and the other unspeakable war crimes that humans in and from the U.S. and around the world have committed against other humans is a shame and a sad commentary on the state of the human condition around the world! HECK they EAT dogs in China!!! Is PETA raising the alarm about that to the billion plus people there who are doing so?? We MUST put things in perspective and get our priorities straight. The justice system in the U.S. is still skewed against people of color our government is commiting all sorts of war crimes on a daily basis and the general state of health of our children who eat meat! is at an alltime low in comparison with other western nations. So to get caught up in the silly debate sensational overload and media hyperbole about dogfighting simply means that we have our head in the sand and that if we don’t do something soon our entire society will have gone to the dogs! …and I am SURE that is a standard of living that NONE of us aspire to unless we are Leona Helmsley’s dog!!! Happy to have Whoopi on The View! Keep up the great work! You have now compelled me to tune in more frequently than I have before. Given the show’s 11 years on the air this is the first time I can say that I will focus on The View!

  • Al from Dixie says:

    Your comments Whoopi is just showing her ignorance again. I was raised in the South and I never knew of any dog fighting nor have I known of anyone who participated in dog fighting. She said it was part of his “cultural upbringing” and “indicative of his background”. I didn’t know she had a PHD in psychology or sociology. I just think it’s another case of the Hollywood mentality she represents. I believe a campaign should be started by writing the sponsors of “The View” and letting them know she is not speaking for anyone in the South. It’s more like South Hollywood. By the way what did Ted Danson see in her?

  • Fran says:

    I apologize that animal lovers of the world are a bunch of pansies who complain about what someone did to a four legged critter but could careless about all the parentless children of the world and issues that actually are of revelance like getting this DAMN WAR over and legalizing marijuana

  • NCINGA says:

    Everyone on this earth are not dog and animal lovers. You people are more into dogs and animals than you are into children. You can protest every place in this country but what people do in their lives is their own business and not always the business of PETA and all you other tree huggers. If you spent all the time and money taking care of people like you want to take care of animals a lot of the problems in the country will be handled. Their are more poor and hungry people in this world than animals. The earth was created for man to have dominion over the animals not for animals to have dominion of man. Leave Whoopi and Michael Vick alone and let them live their lives. Whoopi has the right to free speech just like the rest of you people you are no better than anyone else just because you are PETA.

  • p says:

    I agree with V. You all need to get a life. In other cultures people hunt animals and fish. Their killing animals but no one says anything about that. I live in the south and there are dog fights too.

  • shannon says:

    HEY PETA…….there u go assuming things….hey dawn.. slavery still goes on….just a different style now..check jena 6 sweetie!!!!…..wish you guys would love the children like u love the animals!!!!!!!!

  • Linda Grechanuck says:

    To all who condem Whoopi must be living under a rock. To think this isn’t going on all over the country are in denialit’s a culture thing we no it’s awful and wrong but I beleive they grew up in itand it’s up to our goverment to stop it. Whoopi wasn’t agreeing with it. People get a life. Linda

  • Michele says:

    Kisha congratulations for being the first person on this particular blog to say “get a life” to us animal lovers! Now that that’s out of the way why don’t you take the time to actually read through PETA’s websites you will see that PETA and its supporters DO protest hunting just read through the August postings on the PETA files and you will see one topic regarding politicians hunting for one example. Why don’t you stay away from us if you don’t agree? This is a site for animal rights folks and if you believe that it is such a waste of time then find a site for people who support your causes and leave us alone!

  • satinka says:


  • Jaclyn says:

    I was brought up in the “deep south” and NEVER NEVER NEVER was dogfighting part of my heritage!!! Where does she get that from??? Ok lets see… So because something is part of the “deep south” it is Ok???

  • Rich says:

    What do you expect from a persongoldbergwho supports a convicted cop killer in philadelphia. If she supports a murderer it only makes sense she would support a person who kills dogs.

  • Danny says:

    V “hunting is killing an animal whether for sport or to eat and I havent seen anyone you protesting that.” are you kidding me? This is Peta.. Most of us have protested against hunting and or have shown our disgust in some way. We take on many different issues including dogfighting and are passionate for most animal related causes.

  • Mehgan says:

    Hmmm….to the previous “blogger” so you are saying you don’t really like animals BUT you don’t want to see them tortured? And you think Vick should be left alone yet he tortured dogs for money? I am thoroughly confused. If you don’t like to see animals hurt or tortured than it is important to bring such a socalled star like Vick into the media spotlight. There are kids who have been duped into thinking this guy Vick is a hero! Don’t you think these kids deserve to know what this monster is really all about? HE is a murderer. Leave him alone? You HAVE to be kidding! All I am asking is that you think a little bit BEFORE you post again.

  • Danny says:

    Ingrid is stellar and that letter was amazing. way to go!

  • Shari Kimberlin says:

    I will never watch the View again. Whoopi I find your comments disgusting. No apology will suffice. The souls of the dogs that Michael Vick killed cried out after you said that their deaths were SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE IN THE SOUTH.

  • jeff says:

    I want to know if all of these so called dog lovers are really that dedicated. How many people a year leave their dogs in the car without air and ultimately end up killing their dogs. What happens to those people? All of you being avid dog lovers should know what happens. But I bet only about 02 percent of you know. I keep reading about how ignorant Vick is well what about these people or what about the millions of people that EAT DOG. What about them? I suppose all of these so called dog lovers want to see Korea wiped off the map? Or how about the humane society. I guess puting dogs down everyday cause they dont have a home is fair. Thats not cruel at all. But its about the dogs…. Do you want me to keep going….

  • Jessica says:

    As a southerner I’m offended but I have to say I’m not surprised. Every episode I’ve seen of the View they have spread stupid rumors often about celebrities and often discovered later to be untrue but I’ve never noticed them cop up to it or they’ve demonstrated an uneducated view as fact video games cause violence colored bracelets make girls have sex schools are responsible for student choices. It is a horrendously stupid show that misleads and insults women. I think the very fact that Whoopi joined it speaks volumes about her character.

  • Corliss Holly says:

    Whoopi or anybody else has a right to their opinion. I agree with what she said. I don’t condone what Vick did but I have the right to say what was done to him was basically a special interest lynching. I don’t think any human should be put before any animal and I have every right to say it whether PETA Humane Society or other animial rights activist agree or not. Get over it now.

  • da'cook says:

    Hey Whoopi for the record VICK is from Virginia that’s a way cry difference from the deep south I know I’m from Atlanta. By the way I lived in NY for three years there are tons of dog fight rings in the burroughs cops bust ’em every day you stupid worthless hollywood fool.

  • Kisha says:

    You all need to get a life and focus on more important issues in this country!!!Hunting is killing an animal whether for sport or to eat and I havent seen anyone you protesting that. I dont particularly care for animals but I wouldnt want them to be killed or hurt either by dogfighting or hunting. Focus on some other issues and leave Vick alone. Whoopi did nothing wrong she merely stated her opinion just like you all do. Some people dont feel the way that you all do and no one is saying that you all wrong. Get a life.

  • V says:

    “I was counting on PETA to do something about this. I think Whoopi is a disgrace I’ve written to ABC about it. I will no longer watch that show as long as she is on it. She is a clearly uneducated and pathetic human being.” Hey Erica listen up I guess you didn’t read the whole blog Read please before you look like and uneducated and pathetic human being. p.s. read below “Ingrid spoke with Whoopi on the phone last night after she received the letter since Goldberg actually has a good track record with animals outside of this incident and Whoopi explained that she had never intended to appear accepting of cruelty.”

  • Herbert says:

    I think Ms Goldberg is correct I grow up in the south and it is a big underground sport. I can rember going to them as a child. Dog fights is like drugs there is too much money in it It will not go away.

  • Amy says:

    I was horrified by the ignorant remarks made by Whoopi Goldberg on her first say at The View and have written to them. I will never watch The View again and am disappointed that they hired someone with this kind of mind set.

  • Stephen says:

    Whoopi has been comfortable playing the race card for years and thinks she is indestructible and can say what she wants. Her comments SHOULD offend Southeners of all colors as well as her ignorant remarks about Puerto Ricans. She is a disgrace as a human.

  • Peter says:

    Whoopi should have tempered her comments with an immediate part of the same conversation not later followup condemning violence against animals. This is the sort of “excuse” commentary that invites tolerance of dogfighting and dishonors the memory of the dogs who were tortured and killed and further the innumerable animals of many types who were tortured and killed as “bait” animals during the sadistic training of Vick’s dogs and the abuse hurled at this breed from many sources. Whoopi needs to do more than apologize that carries no weight with me. She is in the public eye and has a lot of experience and surely thought about what she was going to say for a long time beforehand. Whoopi needs to “make her mark” on the show and ensure controversy so that the decline in ratings will not be attached to her arrival after Rosi. She needs to demonstrate that what she did was an extreme mistake and gave support to the 40000 people in this country who regularly participate in these horrific events. Whoppi just encouraged themand Erica is right above that letters to the network are in order.

  • Irish reader says:

    Ingrid I’m wondering why the reference to dogfighting in the Republic of Ireland. I am sure it does happen here but if you are referring to the incident with the proGAA player and his dogfighting organisation that was in Northern Ireland not the Republic.

  • Aura says:

    Unbelievable! Why would anyone say something so stupid and ignorant? I’m from the south and I am extremely offended at her comment. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for Micahel Vick’s behavior toward animals. NONE.

  • animalfriend says:

    whoopi whoopi now you are really disappointing me! you are on the celebrity list of the humane society for first step against cruelty to animals and now your statement! instead of almost excusing vicks crime you should have found other words at least to correct him! now the moment has come to make a first step to avoid animal cruelty! and furthermore as vick made apologies he should now at least show us that he really means it serious and talk openly to the american youth if not i fear that he just did it on the advise of his lawyer! so now we here in europe are watching on you all and we want to see something really positive and constructive not a patchwork on rotten cloth because we do not believe that all america is undermined by such a shameful subculture like dogfighting that means that millions of people find pleasure in looking at two abused animals fighting to the death! no america not this not this!!!

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter says:

    I watched the view yesterday. I could not believe what I was hearing. How could she make excuses for this monster. I am through with the View and I am through with Whoopi. Shame shame shame on you. This is illegal and cruel to the fullest extent. Whoopi as far as I am concerned you are no better than Vick…..

  • carole stroupe says:

    Thank you for sending the letter to Whoopi. It insulted everyone who lives in the South. She certainly needs to have someone educate her on the facts about dog fighting. I hope that she makes an apology to US today on “THE VIEW”. Atlanta GA

  • Let (S)He Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone says:

    I saw the show. She didn’t “excuse” she said what she thought his frame of mind and belief system could have possibly been to do such an offensive and abusive thing!

  • Mary Jo says:

    I’m shocked that Whoopie an african american women would understand first hand the damage of ignorance. One step forward two steps back.

  • lea says:

    I had liked Whoopi very much she is a smart lady. HOWEVER the comment she made about Southerners and “culture” is totally wrong misplaced and has changed my opinion of her.

  • peter smith says:

    this wont be posted because peta only post what they thinkwhat whoopi said was true.does it make it rightfor the deep south to have dogs fightsmy view is no but i think everybody has a right to there own views.

  • kelly says:

    I am shocked by Whoopi. I just don’t understand it. I do know that this is how the FELONS and DOG FIGHTERS in the South try to excuse away their criminal activities they try to manipulate people by claiming it is part of their “culture.” Of course they are just criminals who lie so that they can keep the money flowing in. Why oh why Whoopi would you parrot what those criminals say?

  • John Yamrus says:

    Hi I totally don’t get what Goldberg was trying to do with her comments. This “sport” must end immediately and i’m really shocked to see someone as wellrespected as Goldberg condoning it. This poem of mine about dogfighting from my new book SHOOT THE MOON has apparently been making the rounds of the internet without my name on it. Like i said about dogfighting and rescued dogs. please take a moment to read it. feel free to share it with friends as word about this awful “sport” MUST be spread…only please remember to keep my name on it as author. John Yamrus and all the sick perverted bastards of the world deserve to die an awful bloody death i was picking my dog up at the vet today and while i was waiting for them to bring her out i looked over at the big white dog on my right and was shocked to see it had an ear missing and part of its skull was gone. it looked like an old wound that had healed over and i nodded at the owner and asked what happened to your pooch? she get hit by a car or something? nah he said shes a rescued dog. rescued? yeah we found her in the road thrown out with her ear gone and her head half torn away. what happened? the cop said they see it all the time. they figure she was raised by people who fight pit bulls and you can tell by looking at her that shes real sweet and i guess when she wouldnt fight she was probably just used. used? for what? bait. neither one of us said a word. i knelt down and gave her a hug and scratched her neck and when i did she turned real quick and gave me a great big wet sloppy kiss. right on the face. and all the sick perverted bastards of the world deserve to die an awful bloody death.

  • Pamela Fels says:

    I too will not watch the View any longer. Could you please post a list of the advertiserssponsors for the View? I would like to write a letter of protest to each of them. Thank you.

  • sherri says:

    I can tell you from that Whoopi is full of ignorance. Dog fighting is NOT something that is accepted in the deep south. I am so glad you exposed her. Yet another ignorant person I will no longer support.

  • dawn says:

    I am surprised at the tone of Whoopie’s comments. Slavery was also a cultural trait of the Deep South that did not make it right.

  • Erica says:

    I was counting on PETA to do something about this. I think Whoopi is a disgrace I’ve written to ABC about it. I will no longer watch that show as long as she is on it. She is a clearly uneducated and pathetic human being.