ABC News’ “The View” star Joy Behar has reportedly apologized for recent comments that mocked Vice President Pence’s Christian faith.
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Disney CEO Bob Iger said during the Q&A portion of a shareholder meeting on Thursday that Behar apologized directly to Pence on the phone.
A source close to Pence confirmed to Fox News that Behar did apologize.
The shareholder who asked the question was Justin Danhof, who is the general counsel for the National Center for Public Policy Research. Danhof told Iger that some of Disney’s recent decisions are “strange when trust in media is at an all-time low” and referred to Disney’s ESPN as a “24/7 anti-Trump tirade channel” before bringing up the Behar controversy.
“What do you say to the tens of millions of Christians, and President Trump supporters, that your networks have so blatantly offended and ascribed hateful labels?” Danhof asked. “Specifically, do you think, like Mrs. Hostin and Mrs. Behar, that the Christian faith is akin to a dangerous mental illness?”
Iger responded by saying, “I don’t know where I start. First of all, Joy Behar apologized to Vice President Pence directly. She made a call to him and apologized, which I thought was absolutely appropriate.”
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Iger told the crowd he was “glad to hear” Behar apologized because he “takes exception” to what she said.
“I don’t think it was right,” Iger said.
ABC News did not respond to requests for further information.
“Not the most powerful man in Hollywood, today he was the most tepid man in Hollywood,” Danhof told Fox News, referring to Iger. “He took one real question after about a dozen soliloquies of praise for how great and wonderful he is.”
Back on Feb. 13, “The View” panel criticized Pence's faith when co-host Sunny Hostin said, “I don’t know that I want my vice president, um — speaking in tongues and having Jesus speak to him.”
Behar chimed in, adding that hearing from Jesus is actually called “mental illness.” Pence himself didn’t appreciate the comments and slammed ABC News.
“To have ABC maintain a broadcast forum that compared Christianity to mental illness is just wrong,” Pence said during an appearance on C-SPAN following the controversial remarks. “It is simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance.”
The Media Research Center launched a campaign to hold “View” co-hosts accountable for spewing “anti-Christian bigotry,” and ABC received over 30,000 phone calls from angry viewers.
The MRC, which says it's “America’s leading media watchdog in documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias,” posted contact information for 14 of the ABC News program’s advertisers as well as the president of ABC.
The controversy resulted in a variety of industry watchdogs suggesting it would be wise for ABC News to divorce itself from the show, which in a typical broadcast features four outspoken liberals and a single conservative.
“It's a pure opinion and infotainment program and therefore should be under its entertainment division,” The Hill media columnist Joe Concha told Fox News after Behar’s comments about Pence.
“It is a good first step that Joy Behar privately apologized to Vice President Pence, but it is not nearly enough. Behar and ABC need to publicly apologize for the bigoted slurs on ‘The View.’ The bigoted statements made about the Vice President's Christian faith offended hundreds of millions of Christians across the country, the largest faith group in the United States,” MRC president Brent Bozell told Fox news. “Their apology should therefore be as public as their insult. When they do that, this whole matter will be put to rest. Until they do, we will not let up our campaign to let the world -- including their advertisers -- know of their anti-Christian bigotry."
Meanwhile, liberal hero Oprah Winfrey recently told CBS’ “60 Minutes Overtime” that God has not told her to run for president despite widespread speculation that her infamous Golden Globes speech was a preview of a potential 2020 matchup with President Trump.
Behar, an outspoken liberal, did not accuse Winfrey of having mental illness.