Joy Behar, one of the co-hosts of ABC’s “The View” made a brief on-air apology Tuesday to those Christians offended by her mid-February comment dismissing people’s claims that Jesus talks with them as “mental illness.”
Among the first to accept her apology: North Carolina-based evangelist Franklin Graham, who had called in a Tuesday Facebook post for her to publicly apologize. When she did, Graham updated his post: “Thank you, Joy – I accept your apology.”
He also tweeted his approval.
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Behar caused a firestorm of controversy a month ago when she and the other hosts offered opinions about a scene from CBS’ “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition.” In the scene, former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman said that Vice President Pence “thinks Jesus tells him to say thing.”
Behar’s on-air reaction: “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness.”
Her remark prompted thousands of angry Christians to flood ABC and the show’s sponsors with angry phone calls.
Behar called Pence to offer him a personal apology, the vice president told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night.
“I give Joy Behar a lot of credit,” Pence said. “She picked up the phone. She called me. She was very sincere, and she apologized. And one of the things my faith teaches me is grace: forgive as you've been forgiven.”
But Pence said he also encouraged Behar to publicly “apologize to tens of millions of Americans who were equally offended.”
On Tuesday morning, Graham echoed that call, saying on Facebook that it was “disappointing that there’s still been no action taken by the network and there hasn’t been a public apology. ... I think she should publicly apologize to all Christians. Do you agree?
About 61,000 people liked or registered other reactions to Graham’s post. More than 11,000 people shared it and nearly 18,000 left comments.
On Tuesday’s episode of “The View,” Behar told her audience: "I think Vice President Pence is right. I was raised to respect everyone's religious faith, and I fell short of that. I sincerely apologize for what I said.”
The show also tweeted her public apology.