"If you want to [boycott] ... don't go see the movie," the star tells PEOPLE on the Academy Awards red carpet


Whoopi Goldberg didn’t hold back when she was asked about the Oscars boycott.

During her appearance on the star-studded red carpet Sunday, The View cohost – who won an Academy Award for Ghost in 1991 and has hosted the show before – compared the controversy to past Oscars debates.

“Let me tell you something, one of the years that I hosted, Jesse Jackson boycotted,” she told Alicia Quarles on PEOPLE and EW’s Oscars Live preshow when asked about Al Sharpton’s boycott. “The Color Purple, when we were nominated for 11 awards, was boycotted by the NAACP.”

Goldberg – who showed off an unexpected shoulder tattoo – continued: “Boycotts – to me – are a pain in the butt. If you want to [boycott] … don’t go see the movie. … If we’re not here, then we’re really not here.”

Then she quipped, “You can protest all you want to – who doesn’t want a vacation in L.A.?”

Goldberg, 60, was among the first group of Oscars presenters announced amid mounting concern over the lack of nominees of color for the second year in a row.

Fellow presenter Common, who took home the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2015, also spoke to PEOPLE on the red carpet.

For all things Oscars, click here to head over to PEOPLE’s Snapchat Discover, where we’re breaking down the best dresses of the nights, most meme-orable moments and everything in between.

“I want to be a part of the solution. We all know that things need to be corrected,” he said. “The fact that people brought it up and spoke up … that we are speaking up and the people that are involved in the Academy want to see change too – I think we’re in a great position. The only way you get change is by speaking up.”

The 88th annual Oscars, hosted by Chris Rock, are being presented live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.