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Rachel Bilson reacts to Whoopi Goldberg criticizing her on The View for judging partner’s sex life

Rachel Bilson wants to make a few things broadly clear.

After Whoopi Goldberg criticized The O.C. and Hart of Dixie star on The View for comments the performer made about analyzing potential romantic partners’ sexual history, Bilson spoke to EW to clarify what had transpired during the talk show.

“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 tells EW.

On Thursday’s episode of the ABC talk show, which Bilson says she hasn’t watched in full, the Oscar-winning Ghost star, 67, reacted to a clipped portion of Bilson’s Broad Ideas podcast in which the 42-year-old said — and, moments later, walked back — that she’d find a potential boyfriend’s sexual inexperience “a little weird” if he was in his forties.“We make it a very safe open place to discuss anything, and we were just talking. 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 elaborates, citing a subsequent moment on Broad Ideas where she admitted that it wasn’t “fair” for herself to dissect a person’s sex life. “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 adds that she wanted to speak out on Goldberg’s comments because she feels the entirety of the podcast conversation wasn’t highlighted on the show.

Bilson stresses that she’s considered her words since the debut of the podcast episode, and that she doesn’t stand by the initial statement she made — and later clarified — on Broad Ideas.

“It was a flippant comment that I was just talking with friends, and then I retracted it, because even talking about it now, I’m like, I don’t actually believe that,” Bilson says. “That’s why I think it’s important to stand up for it and clarify.”

Representatives for Goldberg and The View did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.

On the Broad Ideas episode in question, Allen asked Bilson how she felt about a romantic interest’s past sexual experiences, and if hearing about a larger or smaller number mattered to her when choosing a partner.

“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,” Bilson said through laughter. “But it all depends. Maybe he’s been in, like, decade[-long] relationships. Totally respectable.”

She later course-corrects following her initial statement, saying, “No, I don’t know, it’s not fair for me to say either way,” and that “a person is a person.”

Broad Ideas cohost Olivia Allen additionally tells EW that she wishes The View table had listened to the full episode prior to talking about it on air.

“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,” says Allen.

“Whatever’s out there, a clickbait comment, if you go on to listen to the conversation as a whole, and hear what I have to say, it actually isn’t what was first presented,” Bilson says. “I think it’s important to hear a whole conversation before casting your own judgment or criticism on something.”

The View airs weekdays at 11 a.m. ET. Broad Ideas is available on major podcast platforms.

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