On Monday, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar finally had their chance to defend walking off the set of The View last Thursday in response to guest Bill O’Reilly’s controversial remarks about Muslims being behind 9/11.
Watch the video on RadarOnline.com
Since the show last Friday was pre-taped prior to the walkout, this was their first chance to publicly address the controversy on their own show.
“On this show we always speak about standing up to bigotry, so I stood up,” Behar said.
“I had reached my saturation point,” Goldberg added. “I had enough. As soon as I said the B word, I knew to get up and leave. Because I knew what was coming next. I was going to cuss him out.”
As RadarOnline.com has previously reported, on The View last Thursday, O’Reilly said, “The Muslims killed us on 9-11.” Shortly afterward, an enraged Behar stormed off the set; Goldberg quickly followed her. The other ladies of the panel stayed on, and Barbara Walters scolded her colleagues for walking off.
Monday, Goldberg made no apologies; she said that O’Reilly needed to be more cautious in his statements because it’s a volatile time. “I”m glad that I left,” she said.
Walters countered that the country needs conversations without yelling and walking off. “You don’t walk out of your own home,” Walters chided her colleagues. “We’re used to Bill O’Reilly. He loves this. He loves to pull your chain. He loves to get you angry. This is just what he wanted.”
Responding to some critics who questioned if the entire scenerio was staged in a ploy to get ratings, Sherri Shepherd adamantly stated that it was not staged and that O’Reilly seemed “energized” during a commercial break. He promised to show the clip on his Fox show, The O’Reilly Factor, and said it would help the ratings for The View, Shepherd said.
Shepherd said that Walters told O’Reilly: “We’ve been doing fine without you trying to make our ratings.”
Shepherd added, “He knew what he was doing.”
The notoriously conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck said her staying didn’t mean she agreed with O’Reilly. Hasselbeck stressed that the terrorists killed us in the 2001 attacks.
Behar also brought up the Henry Fonda movie 12 Angry Men, cited the bigoted character played by Lee J. Cobb. She pointed out that the other jurors stood up to him. “I believe that was what I had to do,” Behar said.
“We are supposed to be civilized,” Goldberg said. “I know that had I stayed there, for me at least, it would have gotten worse. … He was so enraging and so disrespectful.”
“Bill loves to pull your chains,” Walters said.
Behar admitted her surprise at all the attention the incident attracted, saying, “Two girl comedians walk off in the face of a bully, and it gets to be all over the world. Interesting.”
During the interview with O’Reilly last Thursday, both Goldberg and Behar returned to the set to finish the interview after O’Reilly -prompted by Walters- apologized if he offended anyone by his comments.