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Slim-Fast trims Whoopi from ads

Whoopi Goldberg
• The Candidates: Bush | Kerry
Are explicit jokes about sitting U.S. presidents inappropriate?
Whoopi Goldberg
John F. Kerry
George W. Bush

(CNN) -- Weight loss product manufacturer Slim-Fast announced Wednesday it had dropped Whoopi Goldberg as its spokeswoman, following a controversy over sexually explicit comments she made last week at a fund-raiser in New York for presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry.

"We at Slim-Fast trust the public understands that the way in which Whoopi Goldberg chose to express her own personal beliefs at the recent fund-raiser at Radio City Music Hall does not reflect the views and values of Slim-Fast," said a statement from Terry Olson, general manager and vice president of marketing.

"We are disappointed by the manner in which Ms. Goldberg chose to express herself and sincerely regret that her recent remarks offended some of our consumers. Ads featuring Ms. Goldberg will no longer be on the air," the statement added.

Some conservative groups and GOP supporters had threatened to boycott Slim-Fast products if it did not take action.

At the fund-raiser last Thursday, which also featured other Hollywood entertainers, Goldberg made sexually explicit comments that were puns on President Bush's name. (Kerry bash raises $7.5 million)

Goldberg responded with a statement released through her publicist.

The statement said she understands why the company felt it needed to respond to its consumers, given all the press attention it received.

"But it saddens me that people who were not present at the fund-raiser, including anyone from Slim-Fast and others who have not seen the material for themselves but are only reacting to soundbites produced by the media, have opted to judge my 'conduct,' " Goldberg's statement said.

"I've done material on every president in the past 20 years, from Reagan to Carter, from Clinton to Bush. I have used portions of the material I did at the fund-raiser in shows, speeches and even on national television and it seems now that people from the other side are using this to further their own agenda," her statement continued.

"I only wish that the Republican re-election committee would spend as much time working on the economy as they seem to be spending trying to harm my pocketbook."

Goldberg said she wished "godspeed" to Slim-Fast and its users and hoped "that everything will be better digested, now that I'm no longer representing them."

"And just because I'm no longer in those spots, it doesn't mean I will stop talking," the comedienne's statement said.

Other entertainers also made disparaging remarks about Bush at the event, but what has Republicans particularly critical of Kerry were his closing remarks in which he thanked them and said they "conveyed the heart and soul of our country."

That prompted the Bush-Cheney campaign to demand that the Kerry-Edwards campaign release video or film footage of the event, saying Americans deserved to decide for themselves about it.

In response, the Kerry campaign said it would not release the footage unless the Bush campaign released a raft of documents "relating to Bush's performance in office" -- including records of Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force, among others. (Full story)

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