Whoopi and Disney

Ever since Whoopi’s Direct From Broadway show aired on HBO many years ago, she’s held a special place in my heart. In the original HBO special, her character Fontaine, who is a junkie, goes to the Anne Frank house. This skit is a profound comment on race and humanity.

I was excited to see Whoopi join The View, which is one of my favorite shows to watch when I’m not really watching TV.  I was terribly disappointed in her “rape rape” comment about Roman Polanski, for which she’s being skewered all over the net, and deservedly so. Still, she’s got an incredible talent for raising people’s consciousness through comedy.

When she was filming Sister Act, she tangled with Disney over the script, because one scene required her to steal a tomato since she was hungry from fasting. Another required her to play basketball. She didn’t like the idea of perpetuating stereotypes of black people so she refused to do the scenes. In retaliation, she distributed shirts saying “Nigga-teer” with Mickey in blackface. She discuss this on Arsenio (remember him?) where she said she was a Nigga-teer for Disney. Somehow the conflict got resolved, and she’s continued to work for Disney, all the way up to today on ABC.

Here’s Whoopi playing “questions” on Whose Line — very funny stuff.

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