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Whoopi Goldberg Defends Malia Obama Over Her Film Career and Decision To Drop Her Last Name

BY Abena Dzaka February 23, 2024 8:12 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Facebook @Lovely Black Dolls and Whoopi Goldberg

Following the premiere of her short film The Heart at the Sundance Film Festival in January, Malia Obama, 25, decided to forgo her famous last name, ‘’Obama’’.

The 68-year-old claims Malia shouldn’t be judged for her decision, even though some people seem to be criticizing her online and saying it’s useless for her to hide the fact that she’s an Obama.

Speaking on The View on Wednesday, Whoopi Goldberg mentioned Malia Ann, the eldest daughter of former President Barack Obama, in a professional capacity. 

“If she knows she’s an Obama, why do you care? Why do you care what she calls herself? If she wanted to call herself Jeanette MacDonald, she had the right to! If I can be Whoopi Goldberg, she can be whoever the hell she wants to be!” the EGOT winner proclaimed as the hosts and the audience applauded.

Whoopi expressed her confusion over people being “triggered” by Malia’s choice to use her middle name for her feature debut, The Heart.

“This lady is an adult! Sara Haines commended Malia, 25, for making her own “little wedge,” but the Sister Act star shot back, saying, “She is not thinking about her parents.”

Alyssa Farah Griffin chimed in and pointed out that Malia is in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.

“If she went as Malia Obama, it’d be, ‘She’s riding her parent’s coattails,’ and I can’t think of a bigger shadow to feel like you’re living in than the president and first lady of the United States. She’s trying to carve her course in a new field that she’s been pursuing,” Farah Griffin said.

Goldberg once again chimed in to tell people to “leave this child alone—leave her alone!” Meanwhile, Sunny Hostin argued that Malia is doing her best to combat nepotism by leaving out her last name.

“She says, ‘No, I want to make it on my own.’ Isn’t that what people want? Pick yourself up by the bootstraps; do your own thing; don’t cash in on your name,” Hostin said.

Goldberg agreed and told haters they had “too much time” on their hands.

“You want to be worried about something? Worry about who’s running for president. Worry about that! This girl is a filmmaker, and she’s doing her own thing,” the Color Purple star said.

“I don’t understand why people feel the need to crush other people’s dreams,” she added. “You know, when people do that to you, it crushes you. Can you stop?!”

Whoopi Goldberg ended the conversation by encouraging viewers to “worry about” more pressing issues rather than “this girl who’s doing her thing.”