Whoopi Goldberg has insisted that she was never promoted as a “sex symbol” when she was a younger star, because she is African-American.
In an interview with novelist Ottessa Moshfegh for Garage, the actress opened up about having to deal with the expectation, facing many young actresses, to be ‘sex symbols’ early in their careers. And during the chat, Whoopi revealed her struggles with being sexy.
“Thank you, I did (have a hot bod),” she laughed, when complimented on her physique. “I know.”
When questioned as to whether she maintained her fitness in order to be seen as sexy, however, the Fatal Beauty star spoke out about the casual racism and prejudices that she faced.
“Nobody who worked on that movie (Fatal Beauty) saw me as sexy,” she recalled. “They didn’t even think of me as a woman. Because I’m black.”
The 63-year-old actress began her career as a stand-up comic, writing and starring in the one-woman Whoopi Goldberg show, which ran on Broadway for a year from 1984, before she shot to fame following her Oscar-nominated turn as Celie Harris Johnson in the Steven Spielberg directed The Color Purple which was released two years later.
Whoopi has spoken openly about predatory behavior within the film industry, saying it’s better to earn an accolade than have sex with an “ugly-a*s man” to get an Oscar and a Tony.
“Am I talking about myself?” she asked rhetorically, concluding “No. We have to teach young women better.”
Meanwhile, later in the chat the Ghost actress went on to explain that despite her outgoing persona, she is “anti-social” in nature, and was virtually reclusive during the years that she spent living in Manhattan, New York City.
“I’d go out to do my shopping in SoHo, and just run back home,” she admitted. “I’m anti-social, but I don’t want to be an a**hole, so I talk to people when they come up to me.”