All Star Panelist Roger Simon Reflects on Knowing Whoopi Goldberg Aka Karen Johnson
Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist and The Epoch Times Editor-at-Large Roger Simon in-studio where he told a story about a time he met Whoopi Goldberg while he worked in Hollywood.
Leahy: We are joined in studio now by my very good friend, my former boss at PJTV. That would have been 13 years ago when I went out to Los Angeles briefly.
Simon: Stop dating me. Everybody knows.
Leahy: You were 30 years old back then, Roger.
Simon: I was extremely precocious.
Leahhy: Roger Simon, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, founder of PJ Media, and now a senior contributing editor. Is that the right phrase?
Leahy: Editor-at-large. Oh, even better.
Leahy: Editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. Roger Simon. Good morning, Roger.
Simon: Good morning to you.
Leahy: Now, you know somebody that’s been in the news, and I’d like to get your take on this particular person.
Simon: Are you talking about Whoopi Goldberg, Karen Johnson?
Simon: Are you talking about cultural appropriation.
Leahy: A little bit.
Simon: At various times she has claimed to be Jewish, but there’s never been any evidence shown. And of course, she’s back in the news. She’s, let us say, a newsmaker of certain Avoirdupois, meaning weight. (Leahy chuckles) To be very non woke, as I am.
Leahy: (Laughs) That’s funny.
Simon: Certain things she said about the Holocaust on that extremely boring show known as The View, which I described in a forthcoming Epoch Times article as an insult to women.
In the show, she said various things about race, which I don’t even know if she believes, because, frankly, my opinion of why she said these things has nothing to do with Black, White, Jewish, or any of that stuff. It has all to do with the fact that she wants attention.
Leahy: What she said, the ABC executives and others sound so offensive. She’s been put on administrative leave for like two weeks.
Simon: For two weeks. If she was smart, as I say in the article, she’d take that as a time to leave the show and go back to acting, which she does a lot better than pundit things.
Leahy: But you know Whoopi Goldberg.
Leahy: Tell us her story.
Simon: Yes. Many years ago in the 80s. I was hired by the studio, I think it was Universal. I was to go to Washington. First to meet Whoopi, which I did. I went out. She was already quite, really rich because she had her own Cove Beach in Malibu called Whoopi Beach.
Leahy: Whoopi Beach in Malibu. That is big money in Malibu.
Simon: And it was a gorgeous spot, too. She had a house on her own beach, which the common people could not easily access. It was interesting, in Malibu, there’s always a battle by the owners of beachfront property to keep off all the peons who might want to go to the beach.
Anyway, that’s a small point. Here’s the big point of ultra-liberal Whoopi or Karen. I was hired to write a picture about Whoopi as a member of the White House Press Corps in the press room. We get our laughs now from Jen Psaki.
But in those days, there would be Whoopi. So I went to Washington, did some research, got to know people in the press room, hung out in the press room under Reagan.
And then came back and started to write the script but never, ever heard a word from Whoopi. I had known her a little bit but she sort of just completely disappeared on me.
Leahy: She ghosted you.
Simon: She ghosted me. The movie never got made.
Leahy: But you got paid for writing the script. Oh, yeah.
Simon: That’s a very typical thing in Hollywood I made more money for things that didn’t get made than did get made.
Leahy: (Laughs) What happened to Whoopi Goldberg? She was a talented comedian, a talented actress. Now she’s well, you know…
Simon: Here’s what it does. It kind of mirrors the decline of Hollywood. She’s sort of a symbol of that in a weird way. And so now we have a Hollywood which makes really mediocre mostly woke movies that no one wants to see.
Leahy: With the comic book superstars.
Simon: They’re two heads. The comic book superstars or the semi-serious woke movies that are very small and sometimes win Oscars, right?
Leahy: I can barely watch any of those.
Simon: Me neither.
Leahy: I can’t actually.
Simon: Here’s my personal problem with that. I’m a member of the Academy since the 80s.
Leahy: Do you get to vote for the Academy Awards?
Simon: Yeah, I just did.
Leahy: You did? Well, how do you go about doing that?
Simon: Well, now it’s improved. It’s made it easier because like everything else is online, so you get a password and you go online. It’s a two-tier thing. You vote, nominate now, in what area of the Academy you’re in.
I’m a member of the writer’s branch. There were not that many people. My vote cost counts for more in the Oscars than it does anywhere. I assume it’s counted, unlike national and state elections I think it’s counted fairly. (Leahy laughs) I don’t actually believe it is.
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Photo “Whoopi Goldberg” by Whoopi Goldberg.