Joy Behar Apologizes for Controversial Comments About Nurses as Advertisers Pull Ads From The View

Joy Behar Enrages Advertisers After Nursing Comments on The View
Joy Behar, who enraged nurses -- including Bachelor winner Nikki Ferrell -- this week after her recent controversial comments on The View about the health workers, has apologized -- but the backlash continues with several big-name advertisers pulling ads from the show. Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images

Her joy turns into mourning. TV personality Joy Behar apologized on The View on Wednesday, Sept. 16, for controversial comments she recently made about nurses, but the fallout continues.

Behar, 72, called out Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson for wearing her nurse uniform during her monologue on Sunday's Miss America pageant. Johnson, 22, had shared a story about one of her patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease during her heartfelt monologue, which was lauded by the judges and by viewers.

But Behar was unimpressed. "Why does she have a doctor’s stethoscope on?" she sniped on The View on Monday, Sept. 14. The moment created immense backlash on the Internet, prompting nurses and nursing supporters to create the hashtag "NursesUnite." The movement called for Behar to apologize to nurses around the world, while noting that the medical professionals wear stethoscopes on an everyday basis as they interact with their patients.

Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson
Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson attends the 2016 Miss America Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 13. Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for dcp

Former Bachelor Season 18 winner Nikki Ferrell, who is a pediatric nurse in Kansas City, also railed against The View co-host for her comments.

Even the American Nurses Association got involved. "Each and every day, the nation’s 3.4 million registered nurses provide expert, high-quality and compassionate care, as well as dedicated leadership from the bedside to the boardroom," the organization's president, Pamela F. Cipriano, said in a statement on Monday.

"We are the frontline caregivers, 24 hours, 7 days a week, who are with individuals from birth, throughout their lifespan and at the end of life… That's why it was disturbing when Joy Behar used her national platform and influence to mock Miss America contestant Kelley Johnson for wearing a 'doctor's stethoscope' while performing a dramatic monologue about her experience as a registered nurse during the pageant's talent competition, as if Johnson were wearing a costume."

A contrite Behar apologized on Wednesday, saying she "was not paying attention" to the overall situation and assumed Johnson was wearing a costume. "I was looking at a Miss America tape, and there’s a woman wearing an outfit with a stethoscope, and I’m thinking is she in a costume? I didn’t know she was a nurse," Behar shared. "I’m used to seeing them in gowns and bathing suits. It’s not like I was trying to be funny. It was just stupid and inattentive on my part. I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. My son-in-law is a physician assistant, one of my nieces is a nurse, so I mean I know they use stethoscopes, I just was not paying attention."

While the ANA has accepted her apology, a big advertiser has placed its relationship with The View on hold.

Johnson & Johnson released a statement to Us Weekly on Thursday, Sept. 17, saying: "Johnson & Johnson values and appreciates nurses and we respect the critical role they play. We disagree with recent comments on daytime television about the nursing profession and we have paused our advertising accordingly. We’re committed to raising the level of awareness about the skill and knowledge that the profession requires and we send our thanks today and every day to the millions of nurses who touch the lives of patients and their families."

Eggland's Best, another big advertiser, has also pulled its support from the show.

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