Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, which owns ABC, today told shareholders that Joy Behar of ABC News' "The View", personally apologized to Vice President Mike Pence for comments she made against his Christian faith.
“Joy Behar apologized to Vice President Pence directly. She made a call to him and apologized, which I thought was absolutely appropriate. I happen to take exception to what she said. I don’t think it was right, and I was glad to hear that she apologized,” Iger said.
It has been reported that Pence encouraged Behar "to make the same apology publicly on the show that she did privately to him."
CBN News is awaiting a reply to our request for a comment from the Vice President's office.
Justin Danhoff, Free Enterprise Project Director for the National Center for Public Policy Research, asked about the situation involving "The View" at today's shareholders' meeting.
Audio of the question and answer can be heard below.
Los Angeles Times reporter Daniel Miller and Joe Flint, media reporter for The Wall Street Journal tweeted the news earlier today.
Iger says Joy Behar apologized for things she has said about Christians and the Trump administration. Iger agrees that was appropriate.
— Daniel Miller (@DanielNMiller) March 8, 2018
Disney CEO Bob Iger says he took exception with Joy Behar's remarks about Christianity and VP MIke Pence. Says Behar apologized to Pence.
— Joe Flint (@JBFlint) March 8, 2018
But conservative actor James Woods isn't buying it, tweeting Thursday, "So Disney made a 'corporate apology' on behalf of Joy Behar to shareholders to protect its stock value. Meanwhile Ms. Behar didn't apologize publicly to Vice President Pence at all. In fact she has contempt for him and all Christians."
So Disney made a “corporate apology” on behalf of Joy Behar to shareholders to protect its stock value. Meanwhile Ms. Behar didn’t apologize publicly to Vice President Pence at all. In fact she has contempt for him and all Christians. https://t.co/LNl8C8D05D
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) March 8, 2018
Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, a conservative group that has led a campaign to hold "The View" accountable for the comments, said ABC needs to go beyond a private apology to make up for the offense.
"It is a good first step that Joy Behar privately apologized to Vice President Pence, but it is not nearly enough," Bozell said in a statement released by MRC. "Behar and ABC need to publicly apologize for the bigoted slurs on 'The View.'"
The comments offended hundreds of millions of Christians across the country, and Bozell believes the apology should be public, just like the insult.
"When they do that, this whole matter will be put to rest. Until they do, we will not let up our campaign to let the world - including their advertisers - know of their anti-Christian bigotry," he said.
Christian groups have signed on to an MRC campaign calling on viewers to turn off the morning program, and it's also calling on companies to pull their ads from the show. A number of religious leaders agreed "enough is enough" to what they see as anti-Christian bias displayed on the network.
"It has really surprised us," Christian Robey, political director for MRC, told CBN News. "I would say at the grassroots level we've had millions of people that we have engaged with on Facebook; hundreds of thousands on Twitter."
"We've had from the community, the Christian community, we've had some of the most prominent groups, like FRC (Family Research Council) and American Family Association, Catholic League and EWTN and others that have come on board and shown their support," Robey continued.
The offensive comments took place on the February 13 show when co-hosts discussed comments on Pence's beliefs made by an ex-White House staffer.
"It's one thing to talk to Jesus. It's another thing when Jesus talks to you. That's called mental illness, if I'm not correct, hearing voices," Behar said.
Co-host Sunny Hostin followed saying, "I'm Catholic; I'm a faithful person, but I don't know that I want my vice president speaking in tongues."
Behar later commented that she was joking about the remarks, but did not apologize. ABC News president James Goldston has yet to respond to a letter drafted by Bozell demanding an apology.
According to MRC's website, during a June 2017 episode, the show's panel blamed Christians for taking away free contraception and compared believers to the Taliban.
MRC supporters have made more than 30,000 calls to ABC demanding the network apologize for the latest comments, and several faith leaders say it's time to hit them "where it hurts."
"Our friends at the Media Research Center are asking viewers to call out ABC on their 'wildly hypocritical' behavior," Family Research Council president, Tony Perkins, commented.
"The hosts of The View and everyone at ABC would denounce any disparaging comments about Islam," he continued. "However, their tolerance never seems to extend to Christianity. You can join MRC in hitting 'The View' where it hurts – their corporate sponsorships."
"Make no mistake about it, this is an assault on the sensibilities of all Christians," Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, wrote. "No advertiser can justify supporting this show any longer."
"When Joy Behar and others mock the faith of Mike Pence, they are using him as a stand in for the rest of us in Middle America. It is outrageous," said Gary Bauer of the conservative group, American Values. "Such bigotry against the values of millions of Americans should not be tolerated by ABC."
"I think that it's hit a nerve, and I think that people have had this pent-up for a long time," Robey told CBN News. "And we certainly didn't expect it; we knew that people were going to be angry. We didn't know people were going to be this angry."
CBN News reached out to ABC for comment. The network has not yet responded to our inquiries.