Whoopi Goldberg on Monday felt compelled to address a "demeaning" criticism of her appearance in the Emmett Till biopic "Till."
"The View" moderator, who produced and stars in the historical drama, spoke about the consequences of Till's 1955 lynching amid systemic racism that continues to plague the United States. She then segued into a critique of the movie that appeared to peeve her: that she wore a fat suit to portray Till's grandmother Alma Carthan.
"There was a young lady who writes for one of the magazines, and she was distracted by my fat suit in her review," Goldberg said on the show. "I don't really care how you felt about the movie, but you should know that was not a fat suit. That was me, yeah. That was steroids ... I assume you don't watch ['The View'], or you would know that was not a fat suit."
The remarks seemed to be aimed at a Daily Beast review of "Till" that has since been updated with an editor's note to include Goldberg's comments.
Goldberg, 66, was hospitalized last year with pneumonia and developed sepsis, leading her to take time off from her ABC show while she recovered. She also struggled with sciatica, a type of nerve pain that is treated with steroids, and began using a walker. (Goldberg is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year, she was suspended for two weeks by ABC News after making controversial comments about the Holocaust.)
It's "OK to not be a fan of a movie," she said Monday, but asked writers to "leave people's looks out" of their criticism.
"I'm sure you didn't mean to be demeaning," she added.
The EGOT winner was supported by her co-hosts, who expressed concern that the writer had latched on to that aspect of the film.
"We will hope that she just didn't know, and now she'll know the next time you go to talk about somebody, you can talk about them as an actor," Goldberg added. "If you're not sure if that's them in there, don't make blanket statements, because it makes you not sound like you know what you're doing."
In MGM's "Till," Danielle Deadwyler plays Till's mother, Mamie Till Mobley, during her pursuit of justice for her 14-year-old son, both poignant figures of the early civil rights movement. The movie — which also stars Jalyn Hall, premiered Saturday at the New York Film Festival and opens in theaters Oct. 14 — is already garnering Oscars buzz going into this year's awards season.
"People need to know the story of Emmett Till because systemic racism has very long tentacles," Goldberg said on Monday. "It grabs a lot of people and a lot of folks are being erased from history books now. And that is what systemic racism leads to."
A new trailer for the film dropped Tuesday. Watch it below.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.