ABC's Whoopi Goldberg Declares Married Men 'Fair Game'

Doesn't Whoopi Goldberg care about the most basic moral standards, or the feelings of a betrayed wife?

In the middle of a discussion on adultery during the August 1 broadcast of ABC's The View, Goldberg said: “I believe if a guy allows you to come on to him or you discover he's married and you say no, and he says 'no no it's ok, I'm not with my wife,' then he's fair game.”

Inspired by a preview of Barbara Walters' interview in which she asked former model and current French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy about being called an adulteress, the View ladies discussed who should accept responsibility for an affair, the unmarried “other woman” or the married man.

Bruni-Sarkozy, according to Walters, does not consider herself an adulteress because even though some of her former lovers may have been married when she was involved with them, she was not. 

Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck expressed doubts about Bruni-Sarkozy's definition of an adulteress but Goldberg agreed, stating that a married man is “fair game” if he says it's “okay.” 

Behar and Hasselbeck directly challenged Goldberg's statement, with Behar mentioning the Hall and Oates song “Leave Him Alone He's a Family Man” and Hasselbeck saying “it takes two to tango.”   Goldberg responded by telling all the other women they “cut guys so much slack” without doing the same to women and telling Hasselbeck it doesn't “take two to tango.” 

Goldberg elaborated, “two people going into a relationship where one of them is not supposed to be doesn't mean that the other person is responsible.  It means the person who is making the decision to go and saying 'it's okay, come with me,' is responsible.” 

While Goldberg was willing to hold a married man responsible for participating in an affair, she completely ignored Shepherd's point that the other woman shares responsibility for continuing the relationship once she knows about the man's other commitments. 


Bruni-Sarkozy has made headlines for her former affairs with rock stars and for nude photos taken during her modeling days. 


Full transcript:

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: She [Carla Bruni-Sarkozy] has a beautiful voice. You talked to her, you know the press was all over this situation, talked about her being an adulterer, talked about their relationship. Did you talk about that?

BARBARA WALTERS: I did. The music people kept saying talk more about her music. I said okay okay, but by the way. I said you've been called a man eater, they've called her a man-eater, and I said and you've been called an adulteress. And she said, well no, because I wasn't married. And I said, but the men were married. She said then that makes them the adulterers, not me.

JOY BEHAR: Then that makes her the homewrecker.

WALTERS: She doesn't think so.


WALTERS: She said, so if the man is married and the woman isn't, are they the adulterer and she's not?

HASSELBECK: So she's washed her hands of it?  Like, not responsible for it?

BEHAR: She's parsing, she's parsing -- of course.  

SHERRI SHEPHERD: You can get into technical things but the thing is you still were, you still were involved with a person who had made a commitment to his wife. So you still were part of a breakup.

HASSELBECK: Could he have cheated – I mean, if he couldn't have her, would it be a --

WALTERS: She says – well you'll see what she says more.

BEHAR: If she was cheating with my husband, she'd die like an adulteress.

SHEPHERD: You know, I love how everybody who's not --

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: We go round and round on this and I, you know, a man who is not where he's supposed to be is not where he's supposed to be because he doesn't want to be there. And if a man is in love with his wife, he's not going to run off with somebody else. I believe--

HASSELBECK: But is it someone else's responsibility?  

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Yes, no.  I believe if a guy allows you to come on to him or you discover he's married and you say no, and he says no no it's ok, I'm not with my wife then he's fair game.

BEHAR: You know that song by Hall and Oates-  

GOLDBERG: That's how I feel.

BEHAR: I hear you.

GOLDBERG: Good. Because it sounded like I was about to get jumped and I'm just not in the mood.

BEHAR: No, you're not getting jumped. Did you ever hear the song by Hall and Oates "Leave Him Alone He's a Family Man"?


BEHAR: Well there's something to that also.

GOLDBERG: There is something to that.

BEHAR: You're weak! You're weak.

GOLDBERG: Yes, but that does not mean that they're not responsible.

BEHAR: Well—

GOLDBERG:  I'm sorry, you guys, you cut guys-- You cut guys so much slack.  You do.  You cut women no slack.

HASSELBECK: Okay, what if it's a woman?

GOLDBERG: If a guy says –

HASSELBECK: What if it's a married woman? Let's flip it.

GOLDBERG: It doesn't matter.

HASSELBECK: A married woman, flirting with a man?

GOLDBERG: Ok. Yes. It doesn't matter.

WALTERS: Let's just say-- now that you've heard this provocative --

HASSELBECK: It takes two to tango, right?

GOLDBERG: No, it doesn'T.

WALTERS: This has all come –

SHEPHERD: Why doesn't it take two to tango?

WALTERS: Just let me say what I have to say.  

GOLDBERG: Let me tell you why. Because two people going into a relationship where one of them is not supposed to be doesn't mean that the other person is responsible. It means the person who is making the decision to go and saying it's ok, come with me, is responsible. Sorry.

HASSELBECK: That's your opinion.

GOLDBERG: Yes, that's what I said. It's my opinion. Yes. Done.

WALTERS: This all came about because she, this is her point of view.

GOLDBERG: She's French.

WALTERS: Whatever it may be. So I just want to remind you, as joy is so used to my doing, that the full interview with this and much more is on "20/20" tonight at 10:00 and she is provocative and you and she would get along very well.

Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the MediaResearchCenter