Rachel Bilson fired back after Whoopi Goldberg slammed her opinion that a man with less than four sexual partners is “a little weird.”
“I want to say that I’ve been a fan of Whoopi’s for a very long time, so when I saw the tagline that she criticized something I said, I of course was concerned,” Bilson, 42, told Entertainment Weekly on Thursday, October 5, after saying she watched Goldberg, 67, discuss a recent episode of her “Broad Ideas” podcast on The View in part earlier that day.
Bilson explained: “I think it’s important to hear a whole conversation before casting your own judgment or criticism on something.”
The O.C. alum insisted that her team makes the podcast “a very safe open place to discuss anything,” noting she and cohost and pal Olivia Allen “were just talking” when the topic of sexual partners came up on her Monday, October 2, episode.
“I have the power to edit our podcast, and I chose to keep the conversation as a whole in, because a lot of the time in life, you say something, and maybe you have a minute and you reflect on it,” Bilson continued. “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.”
Bilson made headlines on Monday after she revealed on her podcast that she’d find it “a little weird” if a man in his 40s had “only slept with four women.” She then acknowledged that “it all depends” on the person, explaining that if the man’s been in a decade-long relationship then it’s “totally respectable.”
Bilson clarified during the broadcast that it wasn’t “fair” for her to pass judgment on someone’s sex life. She noted that while she used to ask men about their number of past partners, she “probably wouldn’t” do that moving forward.
Goldberg, for her part, weighed in on Bilson’s comments during the Thursday episode of The View and took issue with the topic.
“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’s how it was. Men could go and do whatever they wanted to do, and women were not supposed to. Now, that has been shifting, and young women have been bitching about, you know, ‘Why are you telling me what I should be [doing?]’ Now, it’s happening [the other way around] and you’re mad. I don’t understand.”
Looking back on her remarks, Bilson told EW that it was “a flippant comment that I was just talking [about] with friends” that she then “retracted.”
The Hart of Dixie alum concluded: “Because even talking about it now, I’m like, I don’t actually believe that. That’s why I think it’s important to stand up for it and clarify.”
Allen, meanwhile, backed her cohost, telling the outlet, “The fact that Rachel didn’t edit to make it present a certain way is a true reflection of what actual conversations in real life are. That’s one of our values, and I think that if we are going to continue to do that, that people should listen to the whole episode before passing judgment.”