Whoopi Goldberg called ‘out of touch’ for comments about millennials

‘If you only want to work four hours, it’s going to be harder for you to get a house,’ Goldberg says

Meredith Clark
New York
Wednesday 15 November 2023 18:13 GMT
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Related: Whoopi Goldberg addresses Holocaust comments as she returns to The View

Whoopi Goldberg has been labelled “out of touch” for her recent comments about millennials and Gen Z’s work ethic.

In an episode of The View on 8 November, daytime talk show co-hosts Joy Behar, Alyssa Farah Griffin, Sara Haines, Sunny Hostin and Goldberg discussed whether the younger generations are financially worse off than their parents when it comes to buying a house or having children.

“Apparently millennials and Gen Z have a much different view of the American dream than past generations,” Goldberg introduced the segment. “Data shows that soaring inflation, student debt, and limited room for advancement in the workplace has made them feel that milestones like affording a home, starting a family, excelling within the corporate structure are out of reach.”

“Does every generation feel this way at some point?” she asked her co-stars. “I say yes.”

Farah Griffin, who is a millennial, explained that her generation has been negatively impacted by certain socioeconomic events, like the 2008 market crash or 9/11. She claimed that 45 per cent of people ages 18 to 29 live with their parents, and admitted that some of her fellow millennial friends have put having children on hold until they reach financial milestones.

However, the Sister Act star had a different take on the debate. “Every generation comes and wants to do better than their parents did, every generation,” Goldberg chimed in. “But I’m sorry, if you only want to work four hours, it’s going to be harder for you to get a house.”

“We busted our behinds,” she continued. “We had to bust our behinds because we didn’t have the option of going back.”

Unsurprisingly, Goldberg’s controversial comments caught the attention of millennials and Gen Z workers online. Many social media users even labelled Goldberg “out of touch” for her comments.

“I love Whoopi, but folks who are still talking about ‘millennials don’t work’ are out of touch. Like y’all… we’re 40,” one person wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Does she know that millennials are in our 30s and 40s? And most of us have two or three jobs just to scrape by?” another user asked.

“Whoopi sat up here and told a whole generation to just work harder as if we’re not all perpetually exhausted from working nonstop while seeing zero progress,” said someone else. “Also, does it look like I have ‘freeze my eggs’ money?!”

During The View segment, co-hosts Farah Griffin and Hostin praised millennials who have opted to freeze their eggs so as to delay family planning for the future. But according to the Community Note left under the episode clip, the process to freeze eggs can cost upwards of $30,000, with the average cost between $8,000 to $15,000.

“Average cost for freezing eggs including treatment/storage is about $30,000-$40,000,” one user replied. “If you’re already struggling to buy a house, where is this money coming from?”

As for the average millennial salary, people born between 1981 and 1996 are making about $71,600 annually. Millennials also have an average student loan payment of $32,800 per borrower. Even the official X account for Public Citizen, a non-profit advocacy organisation, replied that the average cost of a new home in 2022 was $454,900, compared to $23,400 in 1970 - much higher than it was when Goldberg was a young adult.

“The average new home when Whoopi was 30 was $84,000. Today that’s somewhere around $450,000” one user replied.

In 2021, as many as 60 per cent of millennials in the US said that student loan debt is a major hurdle in their ability to buy a home. The report, from the National Association of Realtors in conjunction with Morning Consult, found that 51 per cent of all student loan holders said their debt delayed their purchasing of a home.

“Sadly, Whoopi is like many older Americans who are out of touch with the unique struggles faced by millennials and Gen Z,” said Washington state representative April Berg. “Their inordinate financial burdens can’t be dismissed by calling young people lazy.”

Still, Goldberg is not the only person to profess that the younger generations are unable to reach certain financial milestones because of their “luxury” lifestyle choices and spending habits.

In February 2022, British presenter Kirstie Allsopp claimed young people would be able to buy a home if they stopped travelling abroad, buying coffee, or paying for the gym and Netflix. She added that she bought her first home with help from her family when she was 21, when the average house price in the UK was about £51,000.

Just last May, New York University professor Scott Galloway sparked backlash by saying that young people “should never be home” if they want to be successful. “You should never be at home. That’s what I tell young people. Home is for seven hours of sleep and that’s it,” the Prof G Pod podcast host said during the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit. “The amount of time you spend at home is inversely correlated to your success - professionally and romantically. You need to be out of the house.”

The Independent has contacted representatives for Goldberg and ABC for comment.

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