…It was after O’Donnell finished her last show in early February that she received what an O’Donnell ally calls a “vicious and heinous” e-mail from Shepard-Brookman. The producer denied leaking to the press, and then, according to people who have seen the e-mail, went on to tell O’Donnell that if she had leaked anything to the press it would have been a litany of transgressions by O’Donnell. Shepard-Brookman was suspended, and two weeks later, she was fired. The e-mail, her supporters suggest, was used as a foil by ABC to finally get rid of the most senior member of the old guard at the show. ABC denies this. “You could have read the e-mail as a threat,” says one ABC executive, who says it was “totally unprofessional.” “Well,” says a high-level show insider, “it may have been unprofessional, but it wasn’t untrue.”
Shepard-Brookman’s attorney would not comment.
There’s nothing like tuning into an episode of “The View” for a little exploration of social sensitivities in the modern American culture.
In keeping with that tradition, on Black Friday, a term used to describe the Friday following Thanksgiving, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season, the use of the word “black” to mark this occasion was a topic of discussion on “The View” for its potential “racist” implications.
Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, who has her own primetime HLN cable show, debated the use of “black” on the Nov. 27 pre-recorded broadcast. Goldberg, a black woman, took the meaning to be a positive and that there was nothing wrong with it used that way. Behar, however, was trouble with the word “black” used in conjunction with Friday, taking the meaning as a negative (emphasis added):
GOLDBERG: Oh, hello and welcome to ‘The View.’ Today is Black Friday, all day long,” Goldberg said. “And I’m going to stay black all day because of it.
BEHAR: Isn’t it a little racist to call it Black Friday?
GOLDBERG: Well, I would have called it African American Friday, but that’s taking something away from it.
BEHAR: But there’s a negative connotation to it? Or does it mean something else?
GOLDBERG: No, it’s like when you make all the money – you’re in the black.
BEHAR: So it’s positive?
GOLDBERG: Yeah. It’s in the black, so it’s a huge great thing.
BEHAR: A lot of times, like blackmail is negative, black sheep.
GOLDBERG: Black people.
BEHAR: No, not black people.
GOLDBERG: But it used to be, it used to be.