Miss America CEO Weighs In on Joy Behar's Apology – as More Advertisers Pull Commercials from 'The View'

The CEO of Miss America has spoken out about the furor caused by Joy Behar's comments about Kelley Johnson

Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty; Lou Rocco/ABC

Controversy surrounding The View shows no sign of quieting down.

In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, Miss America CEO Sam Haskell III has weighed in on Joy Behar‘s controversial comments about why contestant Kelley Johnson wore a stethoscope during her monologue in the talent competition.

Revealing that the comments hit close to home, he tells PEOPLE: “My mother was a nurse. It hurt all nurses to hear Michelle [Collins] and Joy criticize the talent choice of Kelley Johnson, Miss Colorado!”

Haskell acknowledged The View‘s apology, telling PEOPLE “it was the right thing to do.”

“Kelley used the talent portion of the Miss America competition to share her passion about a special story experienced through her job,” the CEO says. “I am glad that Michelle and Joy apologized.”

Haskell’s comments come after a Friday report from TMZ that advertisers Party City, Snuggle and McCormick have now pulled out of the show.

This follows the exit of Johnson & Johnson and Eggland’s Best earlier this week.

Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell has also shared her thoughts on the controversy, speaking to PEOPLE at the 5th Annual Streamy Awards this week.

“I’m really proud of Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson, for getting out there and using the talent portion to preach about something she’s passionate about – being a nurse – and I’m really proud of her and I say props to Kelley for speaking about what she believes in,” she said.

On Monday, Collins, 34, and Behar, 72, discussed the Miss America Pageant’s talent portion, with Behar asking “why does she have a doctor’s stethoscope around her neck?”

The hosts apologized for their offensive comments the following day, particularly Behar, who said that she wasn’t trying to be funny. Rather, she was just being “inattentive.”

“I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about,” she said.

With reporting by LIZ MCNEIL and PATRICK GOMEZ

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