The View is doing some damage control.
On Friday’s broadcast, co-host Joy Behar announced they would be celebrating nurses in the wake of the recent media firestorm that erupted when Behar and co-host Michelle Collins earlier this week made controversial on-air comments about nurses that cost them two advertisers.
“After we made comments about the Miss America broadcast and the talent performance by Miss Colorado, we heard from many of you,” said Behar. “You let us know that you were offended by some of our comments, and, believe me, we were listening. We apologize for our remarks, and we know how vitally important nurses are.”
With that, the panel turned into a segment focused on the stressful, emotionally challenging work of nursing, as well as their education and accreditation process.
“We’ve invited the dedicated professionals from NYU College of Nursing to share firsthand what these hard-working nurses do on a daily basis,” announced Behar, 72.
Clinical Assistant Professor Larry Slater elaborated on the “countless heroic nurses” that are “impacting lives every minute of every day without so much as a whisper.”
“They’re doing it because of their passion and their love and the impact they can have on those they care for,” said Slater.
Collins, 34, also used the broadcast to apologize for the incident: “We all learned a lot this week,” she admitted. “I didn’t really understand the challenges facing nurses and the need to improve how people view and appreciate what you guys do, and I think the comments made Monday played into that, and I’m sorry about that. Every day, you guys deal with life-and-death situations.”
The comments that sparked the controversy occurred on Monday when the co-hosts were discussing the recent Miss America pageant. Behar questioned why contestant Kelley Johnson wore a “doctor’s stethoscope” during the monologue she performed during the talent competition portion Sunday’s show.
Behar apologized on Wednesday’s broadcast after facing serious backlash on social media for her comments.
“I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about,” said Behar, 72, who also said that she was “just not paying attention” and didn’t realize Johnson was a nurse, thinking perhaps the pageant contestant was in costume.
Following her apology, the American Nurses Association issued a statement addressing Behar’s “disturbing” decision to use “her national platform and influence to mock Miss America contestant Kelley Johnson,” but that they were pleased she apologized.
Also on Wednesday, Johnson, who was the second runner-up in this year’s Miss America competition, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and defended her monologue, saying she was happy to “have everyone be standing up for our profession and giving them the voice that they deserve.”
On Wednesday and Thursday, two advertisers of the ABC talk show pulled the plug over the controversy, including Johnson & Johnson and Eggland’s Best.
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On Friday, Behar made it clear she had learned a valuable lesson: “One thing, I have to say, one thing that became abundantly clear to me this week was that nurses wear stethoscopes,” said the comedian to laughs from the audience. Then the nurses on stage gamely donned their own stethoscopes.
Added Collins, “Hopefully by focusing on this today we can help better understand the recognize the critical role that nurses play in caring for others and making such a big difference.”
The segment concluded with the audience rising for a standing ovation as dozens of nurses joined the co-hosts on stage.