The View’s Whoopi Goldberg SLAMS woke Veterans Affairs memo calling for ban on iconic V-J Day kissing photo in furious on-air rant – as she warns the organization it has bigger things ‘to fix’

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Written By Maya Cantina

Whoopi Goldberg slammed the Department of Veterans Affairs during a furious rant on Wednesday’s episode of The View, after it was revealed that a memo had been sent around the organization asking for the removal of the iconic J-V Day Times Square kiss photo from its buildings.

This week, VA Secretary Denis McDonough was forced to deny the photo’s ban after a leaked memo signed by Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Operations RimaAnn O. Nelson began making the rounds online – and Whoopi was far from impressed with the news.

Clearly frustrated by the topic, the 68-year-old actor claimed the VA should be ‘talking about what’s being done to women in the armed services’ as opposed to focusing on the black and white photo – which was taken in August 1945 and shows a sailor celebrating the end of World War II by taking a woman in his arms and kissing her.

Addressing the VA directly, the Sister Act star raged live on air: ‘Think about the stuff that you could fix that is real, that will have an impact on the very women you say you’re trying to protect! Do that and then we’ll talk about this picture.’

Whoopi Goldberg slammed the VA during a furious rant on Wednesday’s episode of The View after a leaked memo called for the removal of an iconic photo from their buildings

The photo in question is the black and white shot of a sailor kissing a woman in Times Square as he celebrated the end of World War II in 1945

The photo in question is the black and white shot of a sailor kissing a woman in Times Square as he celebrated the end of World War II in 1945

Whoopi looked fed up as her co-host Sara Haines described the leaked memo about the photo as 'frustrating'

Whoopi looked fed up as her co-host Sara Haines described the leaked memo about the photo as ‘frustrating’

She continued shouting: ‘We can talk about all kinds of stuff but if you have the ability to fix actual stuff, don’t waste time like this because it pisses everybody off!’

Her co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin, 34, chimed in and said: ‘It’s ridiculous, and by the way, a friend of mine who is an air force veteran tweeted out: “Meanwhile I can’t get an appointment at the V.A for another couple of months”… like, deal with the real issues that veterans are dealing with.’

Whoopi continued her rant and gesticulated with her arms as she fumed: ‘Fix the problem and not put a band-aid on something that doesn’t need it because everybody knows what the picture is! We all know what it is and why it happened!’ before she found herself lost for words.

‘Ironically the picture is to celebrate the end of fascism,’ Joy Behar, 81, commented, as Sara Haines decided to have her say and described the leaked memo as ‘frustrating’.  

‘The overreach of this woman who I guessed asked that this be removed was saying people were experiencing trauma walking down the hallways… you work for the VA, these are people that literally have trauma in their lives,’ Sara, 46, said.

‘And you look at what trauma used to mean, these two people holding each other, [and] by the way it might feel different if it was someone pushing someone off, but her arms are swept back and it’s a moment of bliss.

‘We have led a privileged life not having… and I recognize the Iraq war, but the generations before us had Vietnam, the Korean war, World War II, World War I, everyone is related to someone that was somewhere was fighting on the ground. 

‘In general, the consensus right now is that people have the privilege to assign things like that to that photo, that photo was the end of something awful and the people in the picture, they’re not alive anymore, but the daughter of one of them said they remained friends for years after that.

Sister Act star Whoopi urged the VA to 'think about the stuff that you could fix that is real'

Sister Act star Whoopi urged the VA to ‘think about the stuff that you could fix that is real’

The 68-year-old actor could not hide her frustration as she told the VA that their time wasting 'pisses everybody off'

The 68-year-old actor could not hide her frustration as she told the VA that their time wasting ‘pisses everybody off’

Sunny Hostin and Alyssa Farah Griffin (right) agreed that the VA could do better and deal with real issues

Sunny Hostin and Alyssa Farah Griffin (right) agreed that the VA could do better and deal with real issues

‘It’s such an iconic, beautiful photo. Talk about overcorrection and not focusing on the right things!’ the mother-of-three added as Whoopi replied: ‘Yeah, there are things to fix in the VA, there are absolute things… you can touch them!’ 

Sunny Hostin, 55, spoke up and said: “I think Alyssa’s point was such a good one. My uncle, God bless him, fought in the Vietnam war and he’s suffering from some of the effects of it and sometimes the VA is not as responsive as you’d like, I’ve had conversations with them.’

Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Operations RimaAnn O. Nelson penned the complaint

Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Operations RimaAnn O. Nelson penned the complaint

‘Well, Cher was instrumental in getting helmets for our serving people!’ Whoopi then stated as she fumed: ‘I mean, there’s stuff y’all could fix!’ as Sunny claimed: ‘It’s not all bad, but they do need to do some work.’

Refusing to let anyone else on the panel speak, Whoopi continued: ‘Look, in this country there should never be a vet living on the street. There should be none of that. Every person who fought for us should be able to get housing in a timely fashion. It shouldn’t be this hard.’

Her comments come after VA Secretary Denis McDonough took to X, formerly known as Twitter, and posted: ‘Let me be clear: This image is not banned from VA facilities – and we will keep it in VA facilities.’ 

When pressed by DailyMail.com, the VA admitted the memo was sent out late last month but had since been rescinded. It’s not clear if it was ever approved by McDonough. 

The memo instructed employees to ‘promptly remove’ the historic image and replace it with one deemed less offensive. 

‘The photograph, which depicts a non-consensual act, is inconsistent with the VA’s no-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment and assault,’ the memo read.

‘To foster a more trauma-informed environment that promotes the psychological safety of our employees and the veterans we serve, photographs depicting the ‘V-J Day in Times Square’ should be removed from all Veterans Health Administration facilities.’

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