Behar Apology Shows Impact That Conservative Groups Can Have Working Together

You’ve undoubtedly heard about Joy Behar’s public apology for having implied Christians with intense faith are mentally ill – Vice President Mike Pence, in particular. Did you know the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project played an essential role in making that apology a reality?

While controversy over Behar’s comment on “The View” had simmered since she said it over a month ago, it was FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq. who got Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger to spill the beans about her private apology to Vice President Pence. That reopened the controversy and led to her taking time out on the show this week to “sincerely apologize” to everyone. That’s something she and the network previously refused to do.

It was only at the Disney shareholder meeting, after Justin brought up Behar’s disrespectful display, that Iger revealed Behar’s apology to the Vice President.

Reflecting on the meeting and the blockbuster news he generated as a result of his shareholder activism, Justin said:

It took too long, but persistence from the Christian and conservative communities has yielded fruit. Joy Behar has finally apologized to Christians across the country that she offended when she mocked Vice President Mike Pence by suggesting that his faith was akin to a mental illness.

At last Thursday’s Disney shareholder meeting, I pressed the most powerful man in Hollywood – Bob Iger – about why such blatant bigotry was tolerated on Disney’s airwaves. He indicated that he took exception with Behar’s comments, and – for the first time – revealed that Behar apologized to Pence.

No doubt, Iger’s own displeasure with Behar – made public at the shareholder meeting – played a part in Behar’s mea culpa that she issued on “The View.” Additionally, spurred on by the Media Research Center, thousands of grassroots activists contacted ABC and its advertisers to voice their displeasure. It speaks volumes to the impact that conservative groups can have if collective voices are raised to pressure bad corporate actors.

It should also not go without noting that Justin overcame almost impossible odds to ask his question at Disney’s shareholder meeting. He called the meeting a “charade” because the company had set up a seating area for people to ask questions that was almost completely filled by members of a Disney fan club who were given preferential, early access to the meeting room. As a result, Justin – through tenacity and perseverance – was the only shareholder to ask a serious question among a string of laudatory statements and softball questions.

While Iger addressed the Behar controversy at Justin’s request, he did not adequately address Justin’s other concern about political bias that is rampant at ESPN. While Justin asked Iger to address ESPN host Jemele Hill’s comments that President Donald Trump is a white supremacist (and so are his supporters), Iger curtly replied: “I don’t agree with everything that you said. Thank you. I respect your right to say them.”

To this, Justin remarked:

Conservatives need to keep the pressure on Disney and ESPN over the outrageous comments and conduct of Jemele Hill.

She has repeatedly labelled President Trump and his supporters as white supremacists. Bob Iger personally intervened to keep her in place at ESPN. Disney and its leadership need to hear from conservatives that are rightfully offended by this obscene characterization and demand Ms. Hill and Disney apologize.


The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors.