Whoopi Goldberg's Will Includes On Specific Rule After Her Death

One consequence of becoming a larger-than-life actor is that when your physical form passes on, your likeness, legacy, and the public's presumed entitlement to both remain. That's something Whoopi Goldberg is proactively trying to prevent while she's still here on Earth, according to a discussion she had about her estate on "The View." 

The topic of celebrities' posthumous wishes arose as the panel discussed the legal battles surrounding the handwritten will that outlined the distribution of Aretha Franklin's net worth at the time of her death, adding Franklin to a long list of celebs whose estates have been hotly contested following their passing. And considering the serious health scare that nearly cost Goldberg her life in 2018, it's unsurprising that the "Sister Act" actress would have her end-of-life affairs in mind. 

Goldberg shared her legal arrangements with her co-hosts, describing how she's working to protect her legacy in the age of artificial intelligence and increased digital capabilities.

Goldberg doesn't want to be digitally recreated after her death

Whoopi Goldberg revealed that she has a clause in her will expressly forbidding her likeness to be recreated as a digital hologram, per People. She emphasized that these recreations are often done without the express permission of celebrities or their estates and that she found the idea of bringing notable figures back to "life" digitally unsettling. 

The Oscar Award-winning actress continued that she would prefer to be cremated so that her loved ones weren't obligated to visit a cemetery. "I'm just going to be dust in the wind," Goldberg said. "I'm going to be going around the world. I'm going to be everywhere. I might be in your backyard — I don't know."

This isn't the first time Goldberg has revealed protective clauses in her will. Following a discussion on Andrew Domink's Marilyn Monroe biopic "Blonde," Goldberg told "The View" panel that her will states that any filmmaker wishing to make a movie about Goldberg's life must acquire explicit approval from Goldberg's estate first, per Entertainment Weekly.

Fighting back against the era of futuristic reincarnation

As artificial intelligence and other digital capabilities continue to improve, celebrities' estates and likenesses will likely become even more contested than they are today. While Whoopi Goldberg cited the holographic recreation of Tupac at the 2012 Coachella festival, the late rapper isn't the only celebrity to be digitally reincarnated in recent years. 

Michael Jackson, Frank Zappa, Roy Orbison, and Elvis Presley are just a few other notable figures who have been recreated in hologram form. In 2021, a Whitney Houston hologram concert in Las Vegas had fans divisively split between those who wished to see the singer's likeness return to the stage and those who believed doing so would be disrespectful to her life and legacy. 

Goldberg isn't the only celebrity speaking out against this technology, either. Musical icon Dolly Parton has shared similar sentiments about what she wants to happen after her death, and her thoughts aren't far from Goldberg's. As far as these celebs are concerned, the legacy of the body of work they'll leave behind from their physical time on Earth is plenty — no holograms needed, thank you very much.