Whoopi Goldberg has gone on the attack after she was criticised for defending Mel Gibson as a racist, chastising her detractors for expressing their complaints in angry calls to her office secretary.
The Ghost star sparked controversy on her U.S. talk show The View on Monday (12Jul10) when she insisted Gibson was no racist, despite allegedly using the offensive 'N' word in an expletive-laden, recorded argument with his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.
Representatives for Gibson have yet to confirm the authenticity of the tape, but Goldberg stepped up to defend the Braveheart actor's crude language, insisting he was simply being a "bonehead".
Goldberg was adamant she did not support his actions but said, "I don't like what he did here, but I know Mel, and I know he's not a racist. He may be a bonehead. I can't say he's a racist having spent time with him in my house with my kids. Make no mistake (he's not a racist)."
The African-American actress has come under fire from critics for her comments but, on Wednesday's (14Jul10) episode of The View, Goldberg hit back at the negative response, insisting she was just describing her own experiences with Gibson.
She said, "There has been a lot of hassle in the media recently... because I had the audacity to say that I had some personal time with Mel that goes over years and years, and said that I did not think of him as a racist. People lost their minds, said, 'You were defending him.'
"I do believe had you actually watched the show, you would have heard me specifically say I don't condone this. I don't think it's right, I don't think this is smart, but here is the piece of information I have, my experience, this (Gibson) is not a racist. Now, being a black woman, you would think I'd be able to feel if I was around a racist."
Some incensed viewers even called into Goldberg's office and expressed their anger by shouting down the phone at her assistant - and the star has taken particular offence to the "coward"-like behaviour.
Launching into a furious rant on U.S. TV, she raged, "I understand you don't care (about her views), that's OK. But then people called my office, went off on the young lady that works there. You think I'm doing something wrong and you do the same thing to this lady that you don't even know, that Mel Gibson supposedly did (to Grigorieva)? Who are you? You can kiss my behind!
"The last thing, don't be a coward. I can sit up here... and say this is what I believe and you don't have to like it. But I do it and you see me face-to-face. But then you call my office, you cowardly piece of dog mess!"