Whoopi Goldberg defends Obama’s daughter in name-change row as she's accused of avoiding ‘nepo baby’ label

Whoopi Goldberg defends Obama’s daughter in name-change row as she's accused of avoiding ‘nepo baby’ label

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Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 22/02/2024

- 14:29

The presenter didn't hold back as she urged people to focus their attention elsewhere

Whoopi Goldberg has defended Malia Obama after she received backlash for her decision to use a stage name for her debut short film.

The 25-year-old daughter of former US president Barack Obama opted to go by “Malia Ann” for The Heart, which was shown at a film festival.

Obama’s decision has sparked a huge response from the public, with some applauding her and others accusing her of simply attempting to avoid being seen as a “nepo baby”.

The term is used to describe youngsters able to succeed in professions simply due to their family name.

Speaking on her US chat show, The View, 68-year-old Goldberg fiercely defended the filmmaker, arguing it’s up to her to decide the way she identifies.

“She knows she is an Obama, why do you care?” Goldberg asked, adding: “Why do you care what she calls herself?"

Whoopi Goldberg

The presenter frequently speaks out on things she is passionate about

The View/YouTube

The audience cheered in agreement with the actress as she went on to draw on her own experience of using a stage name.

Goldberg’s co-stars Sara Haines and Alyssa Farah Griffin also agreed with her, arguing Obama likely faces increased pressure navigating a career being the former president’s daughter.

Haines also pointed out that for this reason, she’d probably face criticism no matter what she decided to do.

Continuing, Goldberg urged viewers to turn their attention to more pressing issues and allow the young woman to make her own choices.

Malia Obama

Malia Obama recieved some backlash for using a stage name


The presenter often makes headlines with the passionate views she puts forward on the American TV show.

Last year, she laid into “lazy” Gen Zers, claiming they only want to work “four hours a day”.

“Data shows that soaring inflation, student debt and limited room for advancement in the workplace has made them feel that milestones like affording a home, starting a family, [and] excelling within the corporate structure are out of reach,” Goldberg explained.

Griffin went on to argue millennials have gone through a “housing crisis, financial crisis, 9/11,” and have been “at war” for the majority of their lives.

Malia Obama

Goldberg argued Obama should be able to use a stage name for her work


In response, Goldberg fumed: “Every generation comes and wants to do better than their parents did. Every generation.

“But I’m sorry. If you only want to work four hours, it’s gonna be harder for you to get a house.”

She continued: “I feel for everybody that feels this but I’m sorry, we busted our behinds.

“We had to bust our behinds because we didn’t have the option of going back.”

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