Sophomoric Display on ABC's 'The View'

By GLAAD |
June 17, 2010

This morning on ABC's The View, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough of "Morning Joe," sat in as a guest host, joining regulars Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.  Fox Sports Radio commentator Stephen A. Smith was also a guest.

Scarborough directed a question to Sherri Shepherd who is from Los Angeles, concerning recent comments by actress Cameron Diaz.

Scarborough: "Help me understand how things work in Los Angeles. Cameron Diaz comes out, the movie star, and says: 'Just because you have sex with another woman doesn't mean you're a lesbian.'  Can you explain that for those of us who live on the East Coast?"

Some of the hosts, particularly Shepherd, Scarborough and Smith went on to make sweeping conclusions that same-sex relationships between women are more acceptable than same-sex relationships between men. And Shepherd insinuated that women who have had relationships with other women might have been going through a phase but she said men who have been with men are definitely gay.

Here are some excerpts from the exchange:

Shepherd: "I can see what Cameron was talking about because I think you can more accept a woman maybe going through a phase with another woman and then getting with a man, as opposed to if a man came and said, 'You know what, I used to, during my college days,  I had sex with a man.'  I'm going, 'You're gay. You're gay.'"

Joy Behar: "It is not a phase. Ok!  It is not a phase."

Smith: "If you are somebody that's attracted to the same gender, you are what you are."

Hasselbeck: "Ok, you said if a guy had sex with a guy, you would think that he's gay.  As a man, ok if you see a woman had had sex with another woman, would you then say, 'Ok you're a lesbian, not for me?'  Or would you still.. is there like still attraction there?"

Scarborough: "She's obviously never been told the truth from her husband.  Ask your husband that question tonight."

Shepherd: "A man would get with a woman that has had a relationship with another woman. But would a woman get with a man who says he's been with another man? I think it would be highly doubtful because we'd go, 'You're gay.'"

Smith: "The bottom line is, we're not as appalled by the thought of two women together as we are about two men being together."

To her credit Joy Behar stressed that being a lesbian is not a phase, but not one of the TV personalities discussed the possibility of bisexuality.  Unfortunately it's all too common for mainstream media to ignore bisexuality. And this group of commentators not only ignored it they furthered the offensive notion that it's somehow more acceptable for two women to be together than two men.

GLAAD will be reaching out to producers at "The View" and to MSNBC's Joe Scarborough to voice our concerns about this segment and offer advice about how to have an informed discussion about this topic in the future without perpetuating myths and stirring up sensationalism.

We also encourge you to voice your concerns.  You can contact The View here. You can contact Joe Scarborough here.

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