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Whoopi Goldberg had to walk back a gay joke about Sen. Lindsey Graham

Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi GoldbergPhoto: Screenshot

Whoopi Goldberg had to walk back a joke she made about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) sexuality.

On Thursday’s episode of The View, the show’s hosts were discussing the South Carolina Republican’s recently proposed federal 15-week abortion ban with out White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

“Senator Graham said maybe about a month ago, in early August, that he believes, when it comes to marriage, when it comes to abortion, it’s for the states to decide, so, Senator Graham, what changed?” Jean-Pierre asked.

“Well, maybe he’s getting married? Do it quick, because I know people are fooling around with our marriage rights, wherever you stand,” Goldberg replied as the show went to commercial.

The comment seemed to be an oblique reference to persistent rumors about the senator’s sexuality. The rumors have dogged Graham for decades but exploded in 2020, when gay adult performer Sean Harding tweeted about “a homophobic republican senator who is no better than Trump who keeps passing legislation that is damaging to the lgbt and minority communities.”

“Every sex worker I know has been hired by this man,” Harding wrote.

Harding referred to the unnamed senator in a subsequent tweet as “LG” and many assumed he meant Graham. Replies from other sex workers referred to the senator as “Lady G.”

It’s unclear what happened during The View’s commercial break on Thursday, but when the show resumed, Goldberg reluctantly walked back her comment.

“I need to make clear that I was doing what I do as a comic. Sometimes I make jokes, and it was a joke, nothing more than that,” she told the audience. “I just got a whole conversation about people misunderstanding the joke. I mean, okay. I should probably never do this show again, if this is what it’s coming to. It was a joke, guys.”

A source close to the situation told Entertainment Weekly that Goldberg’s follow-up statement was a clarification she wanted to make on her own.

Fans on Twitter, meanwhile, were seemingly unbothered by Goldberg’s joke.

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