Joy Behar called Pence to apologize for mocking faith as possible ‘mental illness,’ Bob Iger says
A confrontation between Disney CEO Bob Iger and a shareholder on Thursday revealed that Vice President Mike Pence had received a direct apology after a recent broadcast of “The View.”
Comedian Joy Behar sparked over 25,000 protest calls to ABC in February after insinuating that Mr. Pence’s Christian faith may be a sign of “mental illness,” but it took Justin Danhof of the National Center for Public Policy Research to elicit the bigger story.
Audio of his exchange with Mr. Iger was posted to the conservative group’s YouTube channel shortly afterward.
“This pattern [of rhetoric at ABC and ESPN] shows that the company is willing to take a reputational and financial hit, just so long as it is in service to bashing conservative or religious Americans,” the shareholder said. “That’s shameful. What do you have to say to the tens of millions of Christians and President Trump supporters that your networks have so blatantly offended and ascribed hateful labels? Specifically, do you think that having a Christian faith is akin to a dangerous mental illness?”
“First of all, Joy Behar apologized to Vice President Pence directly,” Mr. Iger responded. “She made a call to him and apologized, which I thought was absolutely appropriate. I happen to take exception with what she said. I don’t think it was right and I was glad to hear that she apologized.”
The CEO also addressed fallout from ESPN’s Jemele Hill’s unfounded assertion that President Trump is a “white supremacist.”
“Jemele Hill was spoken with and disciplined for the things that she said or the things that she tweeted. I-I’m going to leave it at that,” he said.
The conservative blog Hot Air noted that Ms. Behar “never apologized directly” on air while framing “herself and her extended family as Christians.”
A March 2011 interview on ABC News, however, showed her to be agnostic.
“I don’t know if I you can believe anything on Wikipedia, but it said on there that now you think you’re an agnostic? What does that mean,” contributor Father Edward Beck asked for a profile piece titled, “Joy Behar on Faith Part One.”“Well, I would go to that. I wouldn’t call myself an atheist because that’s a commitment to something,” she replied.“But do you pray to someone, something out there?” the priest asked.“No.”
Ms. Behar’s Feb. 19 clarification on Mr. Pence’s faith featured her telling a studio audience, “I don’t mean to offend people but apparently I keep doing it. It was a joke.”