Whoopi Goldberg Says 'American Idol' Led to the 'Downfall of Society': 'People Like to Be Judgy'

"Once we gave people the ability to judge other people, I think we ran amok with it," Goldberg said of 'Idol,' which first aired in 2002 on Fox

whoopi goldberg the view

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Whoopi Goldberg has complicated feelings about American Idol.

The 67-year-old View moderator engaged producer Brian Teta in a slightly contentious back-and-forth this week while talking about Netflix’s Anna Nicole Smith: You Don't Know Me documentary during the daily Hot Topics segment. 

When discussing reality shows, Goldberg (dis)credited Idol's early seasons with sparking public fascination with reality shows that encourage harsh criticism, drama and blowup arguments. 

“You have Basketball Wives, you have the Housewives of whatever, all the Bravo shows, giving you the impression that you’re doing something wrong because you’re living your life,” she said. 

"People watch these shows because they make them feel better," the EGOT winner explained.

FOX via Getty. Inset: Robin Marchant/Getty

"People like to be judgy," she said.

"I think that we, as a society, love to watch stuff to judge folks. I've always thought that the beginning of the downfall of society was with, what's the name of that show?" Goldberg continued, before addressing Teta off camera to which he responded, "American Idol?" 

After Teta reminded Goldberg that The View and Idol share the same network, the Sister Act star noted that music competition was "not always on" ABC. (A representative for American Idol did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.)

American Idol first aired on Fox from 2002 to 2016. 

"Once we gave people the ability to judge other people, I think we ran amok with it, and it's gone out of control,” theorized Goldberg. 

“They invited the public to decide who that person was and I feel once we did that, it began us in a cycle which we have not [gotten out of]," she added.

THE VIEW - Whoopi Goldberg, Moderator, ABC’s ‘’The View.’’
Whoopi Goldberg. ABC/Jeff Lipsky

"We've talked about this — that it's gotten better," said Teta. "You like it now, remember?" 

"You like it. ABC, she likes it. ABC, she loves it. It's really good," co-host Sunny Hostin interjected.  

Goldberg continued, "When I was watching it, ABC didn't have it. They have it now, it's a different show, it's a very different show. The judges are different with the people who are coming. ABC knows that I feel like this. I've told them. It had nothing to do with them, it had to do with the show."

Goldberg's co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin noted that Goldberg was referring to Idol's “Simon Cowell era.”

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The View airs weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on ABC.

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