Though the hosts of “The View” have no problem voicing their opinions on the war in Ukraine, they have a bit of sympathy for other public figures who are withholding their opinions. On Monday, the women defended Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko.
Last week, the Russian soprano pulled out of all her future performances at the Metropolitan Opera, instead of publicly condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine. While the hosts of “The View” have done that many times over themselves, the women agreed that not everyone may have the luxury of speaking freely.
“You know, I don’t think that everybody is cut out to speak out. It’s also very dangerous, as we know, sometimes to speak up or say what you think,” Whoopi Goldberg said. “So, especially if you got folks living in Russia, and you’re over here working, you know, it might not be prudent for you. I feel like people do what they can do.”
Host Sunny Hostin noted that she didn’t necessarily agree with Netrebko feeling the need to pull out when “you know what the Kremlin will do to artists.”
Ana Navarro added that she has firsthand experience when it comes to conflict in other countries, so she can definitely understand why some people don’t speak out.
“Listen, this strikes very close to home for me,” Navarro said. “I get some Nicaraguans who are really frustrated with me. They say ‘Why don’t you use your platform to condemn what’s happening in Nicaragua?’ And I say to them, ‘Because I had a frail mom, I have an elderly dad, I have a special needs brother, and [Nicaragua’s president] Daniel Ortega is very vindictive.’ I can’t say anything from the comfort of this studio that’s going to put their lives at risk. So I understand that part.”
That said, she did have a few stipulations when it came to the case of Netrebko in particular.
“To me, there is a difference between being silent and having benefitted from an association with Putin. This woman in the opera, she was very publicly supportive of Putin,” Navarro continued. “And so you’ve also got the issue of paying clients of the opera may not want to go see somebody that has been publicly supportive and associated with Putin.”
At that point, Whoopi jumped back in to defend Netrebko, arguing that it’s possible the opera singer is simply adapting to her circumstances.
“She might be tight with Putin over there because it works for them, no problems,” Whoopi said. “Now suddenly, it doesn’t work as well as it did. Now you have to decide, can you take the chance? You have to talk to your parents, you got to talk to your people, because it’s not just your voice. It’s very difficult. It’s not for everybody.”
Hostin then clarified that Netrebko has made statements opposing the war, but not Putin specifically, though those post have since been deleted.