Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar angrily walked off the set of The View Thursday morning following a heated argument with conservative Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
O’Reilly appeared on the show to promote his new book, Pinheads and Patriots. Instead, he started in with Goldberg a few seconds after hitting the guest chair.
“You always give me a sort of look,” O’Reilly said, mimicking Goldberg’s body language.
“I have a bad case of gas,” she deadpanned.
“Listen to me”
Never one to shy away from controversy, O’Reilly gave his opinion on the proposed Islamic cultural center two blocks away from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. The conservative pundit said President Obama’s support of the center shows the divide between him and the rest of America.
“The mosque down here, it’s inappropriate because a lot of the 9/11 families I know say ‘hey, we don’t want that,'” he said.
The statement visibly angered Goldberg and Behar.
“This is America!” Behar yelled.
“Listen to me, because you’ll learn,” O’Reilly interrupted, surprising the audience. Behar tried to make light of his comments, creating bunny ears behind his head.
O’Reilly kept up with his argument, finally prompting the liberal co-hosts to walk off stage with a particularly cold assessment of Muslims.
“Muslims killed us on 9/11!” he yelled back.
“Oh my God!” Behar said in disbelief as she stood up from her seat. “I don’t want to sit here now. I don’t! I’m outraged by that statement.”
And like that, the two hosts walked off stage as the audience applauded.
Barbara Walters: Not Happy
A visibly angered Walters strongly scolded her co-hosts after the loud applause ended.
“You have just seen what should not happen,” Walters said, addressing the audience. “We should be able to have discussions without washing our hands, and screaming and walking offstage.”
She also directed her wrath at O’Reilly. “You cannot take a whole religion and demean them because of what some [did],” she scolded.
A Half-Hearted Apology
Behar and Goldberg returned to the set after a commercial break.
For his part, O’Reilly offered his version of an apology.
“If anyone felt that I was demeaning all Muslims, I apologize.”
The tense situation died down after the apology and the show resumed as normal. No word on what happened backstage after the show – something tells us Walters gave her co-hosts a terse warning. It is her show, after all.
Watch the Heated Debate on The View