The presenter was discussing with her co-hosts, including Woopi Goldberg, about topics of conversation to avoid at Thanksgiving when she suggested LGBT+ people “come out” to their families.
“I’d like to suggest to everybody out there, come out to your family this Thanksgiving, just come out. See what happens,” Ms Behar said on Thursday’s show.
“If you’re gay, come out. Meaning be your authentic self.”
She went on to say that at the age of 79, was “old enough now” to know that “life is short”, and encouraged LGBT+ people to be themselves.
Although Ms Behar’s comments were seemingly well intentioned, many accused The View co-host of trivialising the matter.
“Is coming out a joke to you? How dare you take a very important and sensitive moment in someone who is part of the LGBTQIA community and turn it into a joke?,” one Twitter user argued.
“Some people have been shunned from their family because of it.”
“Really interested to know if there are closeted gays who plan on following Joy Behar’s advice today,” wrote another on Twitter. “Like what kind of chaos is she trying to sow across America.”
Others suggested she was risking rifts within families, with a Twitter user writing: “She’s gonna get so many people disowned this week.”
“I think Joy Behar is right,” one Twitter user argued. “It’s your time to accept yourselves, be proud. If your families don’t accept you, they are the ones who should be ashamed. Love is not supposed to be contingent on being someone you aren’t. Love is accepting each person as they are. Live your best Life.”