There were a ton of stories about The View and the nursing debacle over the weekend but we didn’t cover them due to the Emmys. Plus, you know, it’s The View. It’s hard to care too much about whatever is going on with that show. The last time we covered this, nurses were up in arms over the fact that panelists Michelle Collins and Joy Behar had made comments seemingly dissing nurses. They were discussing a Miss America contestant, Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson, who gave a monologue during the show’s talent competition discussing her career as a nurse. Johnson told an anecdote to make the point that nurses are life savers who make a difference in people’s lives. It was a clever and unique talent entry that highlighted her career, but Collins and Behar didn’t see it that way. Collins said “that’s not a real talent,” while Behar asked the ignorant question “why does she have a doctor’s stethoscope?” Both women later apologized, but the damage was already done. Multiple advertisers dropped out of the show, citing the hard and important work that nurses do. Companies including Johnson & Johnson, Snuggle, Eggland’s Best, Party City and McCormick publicly cut ties with The View following the backlash.
What’s more is that Nicole Arbour, the professional troll whose “Dear Fat People” video went viral, was a guest on the show last Wednesday, the day that Collins and Behar apologized. She later claimed that Collins continued to talk smack about nurses backstage, quoting Collins as saying “That’s not a real profession. They want to be doctors.” View reps have denied this by stating that Collins was never backstage that day.
On Thursday, The View ran an episode in which they “celebrated and thanked” nurses. In the segment I viewed, they invited two nurses on and basically sucked up to them as they explained how vital and heroic their work is and how they don’t get the respect they deserve. Collins fell on her sword during that segment, saying that “as a result of this situation I didn’t understand the challenges facing nurses and the need to improve how people view and appreciate what you guys do. I’ll be honest I think the comments made Monday kind of played into that and I’m sorry about that.” One of the nurses then explained how physically, mentally and emotionally challenging it is to deal “with life or death situations on a daily basis.” She said that her work can “take a toll on you” and that it can be hard to disconnect and leave that stress at work. Behar also joked that “one thing that became abundantly clear to me this week is that nurses wear stethoscopes.”
Despite all the attempts to make up for their original comments, there may be some additional fallout. Radar reports that Michelle Collins’s job is on the line. She’s only been there permanently since July and one of her last jobs was running VH1′s BestWeekEver.tv site. (They used to link us so I’m inclined to defend Collins. I’m telling you this to be transparent.) She also co-hosted The Gossip Queens on VH1. An insider tells Radar “ABC is looking to get rid of Michelle. She has not been testing well with viewers for weeks, and they’ve been trying to find an excuse to cut her.” The View has denied this on the record and tells Radar that Collins has “a bright future” on The View. I don’t know, it seems like they should give Collins a chance. They want people who will talk some smack and bring enough controversy to get headlines, just not enough to piss off an entire contingent of the population and lose advertisers as a result. If Collins really did say “that’s not a real profession” that’s inexcusable, but Nicole Arbour is making those claims. That lady lacks credibility.