On April 25, Rosie O’Donnell said on the ABC show, “The View,” that she was not coming back next season; she is quitting in June. We are proud that the New York Times credited the Catholic League for playing a major role in taking her down; it cited all the protesting e-mails we triggered.
In the week prior to her announcement, the Catholic League contacted officials at Disney/ABC twice about the show. For example, on April 19, we noted another O’Donnell hit—a rant about the Supreme Court having too many Catholics. In her mind, because five of the justices are Catholic, this constitutes a breach of separation of church and state. In our complaint, we also detailed seven other bigoted outbursts by O’Donnell that have occurred since last September.
O’Donnell has said there is no difference between radical Christians and radical Muslims (9-12-06); she has ridiculed the Eucharist (9-28-06); she has falsely claimed that the pope was in charge of policing miscreant priests since the 1980s and did nothing about them (10-2-06); she repeated the lie about the pope again (10-27-06); she has mocked priestly celibacy (2-7-07); she ridiculed the Eucharist again (2-27-07); and she has mocked Catholic teaching on the Bible and the Virgin Birth (3-26-07).
On April 23, O’Donnell struck for the ninth time. As we said in a news release, “Two angry ex-Catholics, Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Behar, teamed up with Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a self-described ‘Christian,’ to mock the Catholic Church once again on a show run by a Jew, Barbara Walters.” The subject was Limbo, about which the co-hosts knew nothing.
We again registered a protest with Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair Disney Media Networks and President, Disney-ABC Television Group, demanding that she “rein in” O’Donnell. Two days later, O’Donnell called it quits.
As long as Walters remains co-producer and co-owner of the show, there will be a problem. Joy Behar is a bigot and she is not leaving, and O’Donnell is slated to make guest appearances. With this in mind, we contacted “The View’s” largest sponsor, Procter & Gamble, putting them on notice. In fairness, the company responded quickly and professionally.
When O’Donnell offended the Chinese, she apologized. When “Grey’s Anatomy” star Isaiah Washington made an anti-gay slur, ABC moved quickly to rectify the situation. Yet when it comes to Catholic bashing, ABC is slow to act.
Write to Anne Sweeney at 3800 W. Alameda Avenue, Burbank, CA 91505-4300.