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Exclusive: Whoopi Goldberg's difficult childhood that influenced her recent project

The View host struggled

whoopi goldberg tribeca exclusive
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad SanwariSenior WriterNew York
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Whoopi Goldberg may be one of the most recognizable figures in Hollywood, but it took a lot of hard work to get to that point, and that included a fair bit of struggle.

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The host of The View was one of the executive producers of the documentary film Butterfly in the Sky, chronicling the journey of the kids' reading TV show, Reading Rainbow.

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HELLO! spoke to the documentary's directors, Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb, at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere, as they revealed the actress' special connection with the project.

When asked about her involvement with Butterfly in the Sky, Bradford said: "She was great! Her experience coming into this was that she had difficulty reading as a young person. 

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"Because of that, it was important for her to spread the word and help kids learn and love to read. So it's been a joy."

Brett also added: "Also, LeVar [Burton] got her her first gig on Star Trek, they have such a rich history together. When we were bringing her on board, she said yes immediately."

whoopi goldberg reading rainbow© Photo: Getty Images

Whoopi was one of the executive producers of Butterfly in the Sky

The Oscar-winning actress appeared on a 1993 episode of the PBS show, revolving around the book Amazing Grace.

Whoopi was also one of the subjects interviewed in the documentary, stating: "Now you may ask 'why would you do something like Reading Rainbow? You're not making any money, what is the pull'?"

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She then explained that growing up with a learning disability was what influenced her appearance, explaining: "I'm dyslexic. So I learned to read long after I should've. Reading opens everything."

The TV star has candidly spoken about her struggles with dyslexia growing up, sharing in an interview: "When I was growing up, they didn't call it dyslexia. You were called slow.

whoopi goldberg dyslexia© Photo: Getty Images

The actress is outspoken about her struggles with dyslexia

"What you can never change is the effect words 'dumb' and 'stupid' have on young people. So we must always be vigilant. Remember that what those leave you with are forever, be it in 1810 or 4010."

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