Reality TV

How an Offensive Joke About Nurses Cost 'The View' Millions

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The Offensive Joke

It started when the hosts discussed a Miss America contestant Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson who performed a monologue about her work as a nurse for the talent portion of the competition. Joy Behar questioned why she wore a stethoscope. Michelle Collins called it basically reading her emails out loud. Whoopi Goldberg added she came in a nurse’s uniform and basically read out her emails. Their mocking tone implied nursing is not a real talent.

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Backlash From The Nursing Community

The nursing community responded with outrage at the ignorance and disrespect displayed. Nurses flooded social media using hashtags like #NursesUnite and #RespectNurses sharing their anger and calling for an apology. A petition demanding ABC force the hosts to apologize gathered over 150,000 signatures within a week. Some nurses held protests outside ABC studios bringing medical tools to demonstrate their critical role. Major organizations defended the vital life saving work nurses perform each day.

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Advertisers Pull Support

The financial fallout was swift as several major advertisers like Johnson & Johnson, Party City and McCormick immediately withdrew sponsorships citing disappointment in the hosts’ comments. 'The View' stood to lose millions from these departures with ad spots costing up to $100,000 each. The sponsors recognized the value of nurses and aligned themselves with that message rather than face continued controversy.

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Attempts To Make Amends

The hosts brought Johnson onto the show to apologize once the backlash became clear. They expressed respect for nurses and gratitude for their compassion and dedication. Johnson accepted the apology on behalf of her profession and noted the increased attention on nursing was a positive outcome. But the damage had already been done to the show brand for many.

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Lasting Implications

The controversy exposed deeper issues plaguing 'The View' including declining ratings, frequent cast changes, and rumors of backstage drama. It highlighted the lack of appreciation nurses often feel from media and society compared to doctors. It reinforced how words can have real consequences requiring mindful use of the public platform the hosts hold. Their flippant joke resulted in alienating loyal viewers and surrendering millions in ad revenue.

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The Final Verdict

The thoughtless remark about nurses proved incredibly costly for 'The View' both financially and reputationally. It demonstrated the influence entertainers wield and their need for sensitivity when discussing professions performing essential services. The offense will not soon be forgotten when an apology is given.

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