AceShowbiz - Whoopi Goldberg has defended Viggo Mortensen after he used the N-word in an interview about his new movie "Green Book", insisting people have got to be careful what they're "backlashing about".
The "Lord of the Rings" star, who plays a racist New York bouncer hired to work as a driver and bodyguard for accomplished African-American pianist Don Shirley for a 1960s tour through the southern states, in the film was promoting the project during a recent question and answer session in Los Angeles when he let the offensive word slip.
Viggo quickly apologised following a backlash, stating: "In making the point that many people casually used the N-word at the time in which the movie's story takes place, in 1962, I used the full word. Although my intention was to speak strongly against racism, I have no right to even imagine the hurt that is caused by hearing that word in any context, especially from a white man. I do not use the word in private or in public. I am very sorry that I did use the full word last night, and will not utter it again."
Mahershala Ali, who plays Shirley in the movie, applauded his co-star for seeing the error of his remark, and during an appearance on Whoopi's show "The View" on Thursday, November 15, he explained to the "Ghost" star why people were so upset.
"What he was trying to get at (was), 'If you remove the the N-word from your vocabulary, it doesn't mean that you're not harboring racist thoughts or supporting policies that are racist or discriminatory... and he said the full word," he said.
Whoopi quickly stood up for Viggo, stating, "If you are going to explain this period of time, you've got tell people what you're talking about... He was talking about the time and the word... I think we have to be really careful what we're backlashing about."