Words: Alastair James; pictures: ABC/Instagram/@carlnassib
The View's Joy Behar has been criticised for a tactless and inappropriate on-air joke regarding the coming out of National Football League player Carl Nassib this week.
Nassib, who plays for the Las Vegas Raiders, came out publicly as gay on Monday (21 June) in an Instagram video. As the first active NFL player to do so, he has been widely praised.
However, while discussing the story on yesterday's show (22 June 2021), Behar questioned why it was “such a big deal” and went on to make a crass anal sex reference.
Joy Behar tries to walk it back at the end of the segment.— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) June 22, 2021
By the way, that inappropriate joke I made for daytime television, scratch it. Make believe I never said it." pic.twitter.com/z4klo7CXBc
“Is this such a big deal?”
Speaking to her co-hosts, Behar said: “I know he's the first active NFL player ever to come as gay, but come on, it's 2021, is this such a big deal?”
She then joked: “After they said penetration in the end zone they lost me.”
This led to grimaces and shocked reactions from her co-hosts and guests.
The model and actress later tried to walk back the joke, saying: “I just long for the days where you can just be gay in the world and it doesn’t become a big deal.
"By the way, that inappropriate joke I made for daytime television - scratch it. Make believe I never said it."
Twitter users were split over the offensiveness of the comments. One tweeted that if they had been made by the more conservative host, Megan McCain, people would have called for her firing.
Lets see if @ABC REALLY cares about tolerance and makes @TheView #JoyBehar apologize over this intolerant comment; if #meganmccain had said it everyone here on @Twitter would have called for her firing! https://t.co/esO5RBQIyb— 🏈⚽️🏐Dr. Beene 🌹🏖🇺🇸 (@HistoryBeene) June 23, 2021
Others said they weren’t bothered by the jokes. One said “Oh give me a break. If Samantha made this awful pun on Sex and the City the gays would’ve loved it.”
In his coming out video, Nassib said on Monday: “I've been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest.”
The 28-year-old also donated $100,000 to the LGBTQ suicide prevention charity The Trevor Project, which has since been matched by the NFL.