ABC’s “The View” lost two critical sponsors on Sept. 16 when Johnson & Johnson and Eggland’s Best Eggs withdrew their advertising dollars from the program. The talk show, known for the back-and-forth among its panel of women hosts, drew the ire of nurses across the country after mocking a Miss America contestant on Sept. 14 (video below).
For the talent portion of the pageant, Miss Colorado Kelly Johnson walked on the stage in her nursing scrubs and talked about her experience treating a patient with Alzheimer’s disease. She ultimately did not win the competition, and the crown was awarded to Betty Cantrell of Georgia.
A clip of Johnson’s monologue was shown on “The View” and co-hosts Joy Behar and Michelle Collins were quick to deride the performance.
“She basically read her emails out loud and surprisingly she did not win,” Collins said sarcastically. She continued to mock Johnson, suggesting that she unintentionally hilarious. “She (Johnson) treats patients with Alzheimer’s, which is not funny, but you to Google it (her performance).”
“Why does she have a doctor’s stethoscope on?” Behar wondered aloud.
Fox News reports that nurses across the country were appalled by the hosts’ flippant attitude towards their profession, creating an online movement with the Twitter hashtag #NursesUnite.
The National Nurses United said in a statement: “‘The View’ trivialized the profession of nursing, referring to the nurses scrubs as a costume. They also demeaned the role of the RN by referring to a stethoscope as a doctor’s instrument.”
Johnson & Johnson announced soon after that it was withdrawing their support of the ABC program. According to USA Today, the money it pulled from “The View” is now being used to establish a drive for nursing scholarships.
Eggland’s Best also withdrew ad dollars, releasing the statement: “In light of the comments about the nursing profession recently made on daytime television, we will no longer be advertising on the show in question.”
NY Daily News reports the two companies’ contributions to the show are valued in the millions of dollars.
Collins tweeted an apology on Sept. 16: “To all nurses: I want to apologize. You’re the last people I’d ever want to hurt. I’m thankful for all the amazing work you do.”
Behar says her words were misconstrued and that her jokes were aimed solely at the pageant contestant, nonetheless admitting that “It was stupid and inattentive on my part."
Fox reports that on Sept. 18, “The View” dedicated its episode to nurses, bringing on professionals to inform about their responsibilities and importance.