Joy Behar recalls walking off The View during heated Bill O'Reilly interview: 'That was a political move'
Joy Behar is opening up about one of the most controversial moments in The View history. In 2010, she and Whoopi Goldberg were scolded by Barbara Walters after they walked out of a live interview with conservative media figure Bill O'Reilly.
"I'm never rude to guests, unless you count the way I treated Bill O'Reilly once when he was on this show," Behar said on Thursday's episode. "Whoopi and I, we walked off the stage."
Cohost Sunny Hostin observed that the incident "was a teachable moment" and that it "wasn't really rude," but rather "a lesson" in on-set decorum.
ABC Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walk out of an interview with Bill O'Reilly on 'The View'
"That was a political move," Behar joked as she smiled and looked at the applauding audience.
The debate erupted during a discussion about a mosque proposed for construction in lower Manhattan, just blocks from Ground Zero. Goldberg and Behar became enraged when O'Reilly suggested that "Muslims killed us on 9/11," to which Goldberg stressed that "extremists did that."
"I don't want to sit here. I don't want to sit here, I don't," Behar said as the argument continued. Seconds later, she and Goldberg walked off the stage together.
"I want to say something to all of you. You have just seen what should not happen. We should be able to have discussions without washing our hands and screaming and walking off stage. I love my colleagues, it should not have happened," Walters said amid the chaos. "Now, let me just say to you in a calmer voice: it was extremists. You can not take a whole religion and demean them because of what some extremists [did]."
Behar and Goldberg returned to the set moments later, with the former citing O'Reilly's apology for lumping all Muslims into one category as her reason for returning.
Goldberg and Behar are still regular cohosts on The View. O'Reilly was ultimately terminated from his post at Fox News after numerous harassment claims surfaced against him. O'Reilly denied the allegations. Mark Fabiani, his representative, claimed at the time, "In the more than 20 years Bill O'Reilly worked at Fox News, not one complaint was filed against him with the Human Resources Department or Legal Department by a coworker, even on the anonymous hotline."
The View continues weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on ABC. Watch Behar and Goldberg walk off the set in the video above.
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