Rachel Bilson Slams Whoopi Goldberg for "Shaming" Her on "The View"

They got into a public back-and-forth over The O.C. star's podcast.

When Rachel Bilson had an open conversation about sex on her podcast Broad Ideas in October, she didn't expect that Whoopi Goldberg would respond to her opinions on daytime television. But, on an episode of The View, the panelist begged to differ with the O.C. star's thoughts on men's sex lives, calling them "very odd." A couple of months later, Bilson says that, on one hand, she feels like she should thank Goldberg for all the free publicity. But on the other, she thinks the View co-host was out of line in "shaming" her.

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To recap: As reported by E! News, on an October episode of Broad Ideas, which Bilson co-hosts with her friend Olivia Allen, she said that she feels "judgmental" of men in their 40s who have had what she considers a low number of sexual partners. "If it's really low, at this day and age, you'd be like, 'It's a little weird,'" the O.C. star said. "This is going to sound so judgmental, but if a dude's, like, in his 40s and he's, like, slept with, like, four women." But, she added, "It all depends. Maybe he's been in, like, decade[-long] relationships …  It's not fair for me to say either way."

Following the release of the podcast episode, Goldberg responded to Bilson's remarks on The View. "I'm sorry, I think it's very odd that you're concerned that he's had sexual partners—any sexual partners. Why is it your business?" Goldberg said. "Listen, men, traditionally, were taught to have many sexual partners. That was how it was. Men could go and do whatever they wanted to do, and women were not supposed to." The 68-year-old continued, "Now that has been shifting, and young women have been [expletive meaning complaining] about, you know, 'Why are you telling me what I should be doing?.' Now, it's happening, and you're mad. I don't understand."

Bilson looked back on the drama on the most recent episode of Bill Maher's podcast, Club Random.

"I normally don't respond when I get called out for things. But then again, it's like, 'Alright, well, if you're talking about my podcast and I said something, let me respond. Because it's just going to bring more people to maybe hear the conversation in the first place,'" Bilson explained (via Us Weekly). She joked, "I should be sending Whoopi a [expletive] Christmas present is what I should be doing!"

Despite the attention The View brought to her podcast, the 42-year-old actor doesn't think Goldberg was being quite fair.

"I backtracked even in the conversation, so when she called out the one line, I was like, hold on. If you're going to take the time to call me out—It almost felt like shaming in a weird way," Bilson said. "If you listen to the whole conversation, I immediately say, wait, I'm not judgmental, I'm all about whatever works for people." (The segment on The View did include the segment of the podcast where Bilson walks back her comments.)

Not long after the episode aired, Bilson told Entertainment Weekly that she was "concerned" when she heard that Goldberg had acknowledged her comments, because she's "been a fan of Whoopi's for a very long time."

She added that while she softened her comments in the moment, she chose to leave the full conversation in the podcast.

"[A] lot of the time in life, you say something, and maybe you have a minute and you reflect on it," Bilson said. "The point I get across is that it doesn't matter, and maybe in the past I would've looked at it [judgmentally], but I wouldn't do that anymore. I made it clear that I don't want to sound judgmental, it was important that that point get across, not what I said initially."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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