Yesterday on The View, Sherri Shepherd recited a (sort of) apology regarding remarks she recently made about the LGBTQ community in an interview with Tonight on the Fusion network.
On Tonight while talking to very eager to please host Alicia Menendez, Shepherd addressed the (fair) public perception that she's anti-gay, saying:
"I think people don't know my heart. I think people feel I'm very judgmental. I think people feel I'm very homophobic. If they knew me, and knew my heart. ... You grow up being a Christian and you grow up believing homosexuality is a sin; you're going to hell if you're a homosexual. This is something that they teach in churches. So it's something that I grew up believing. I might not agree with your lifestyle, but I love you. You may not agree with my lifestyle, but you love me ... I don't say it's a choice. If you tell me, 'Sherri, I was born gay.' OK. I'm not gonna argue with you, because I can't tell you how you feel and what's going on inside. I'm trying to make it into heaven by the skin of my teeth ... I don't know who I'm gonna see. So if you tell me you're born [gay], I'm not gonna argue with you. And I absolutely respect you for that. I just ask that people respect how I feel, [I] respect how you feel and we can have a great dialogue."
Okay. I mean, it's pretty flawed logic — the whole "I'll accept you if you accept my intolerance of you. P.S. You might be going to hell" thing, but it's certainly not the worst thing Shepherd has ever said, nor is it terribly specific. It's worth noting that Shepherd, while saying that the public has wrongly labeled her has homophobic, remains fairly noncommittal to what her actual point of view on homosexuality is, making it hard to doubt or believe her.
Her apology for the remarks (apparently people A. know what Tonight is and B. are upset about what she said on it) was equally vague.
"I want to say that I'm truly sorry to anyone I've offended with the view points I expressed on Alicia Menendez's Tonight on the Fusion Network. My interview was misrepresented and only a portion of my comments were used as a headline to give the impression that I was judging and condemning members of the LGBT community for living in their own truth. In the interview, I expressed I was raised as a child to have a set of beliefs, but my beliefs have evolved significantly as my own personal relationship with Christ has increased. I believe that love is the greatest of all things and I have no desire to judge anyone for who they are. I'm a person of compassion and anybody who knows me knows that I love, I accept, I embrace everybody who has love in their hearts. So, I love you."
As Daniel D'Addario at Salon points out, Shepherd still isn't being forthright on what are feelings about homosexuality actually are. The apology has an air of "love the sinner, hate the sin," but even that isn't explicitly stated — something that wouldn't be a problem (Shepherd has the right to keep her thoughts to herself) if she wasn't on a talk show that supposedly revolves around opinion. In the past, Shepherd has voiced support of Proposition 8 and made ignorant comments about the trans community, which would also suggest that — despite all the love she feels — she has problematic feelings surrounding LGBTQ issues, but you get no sense of that (or anything) in her media-trained apology.
Oddly, this has left D'Addario longing for the Elisabeth Hasselbeck's days on The View and I'm surprised to say that I agree with him. Hasselbeck was/is a complete right-wing nut, but at least she never shied away from showing it and you always knew where she stood (which always happened to be in Crazyville).
The biggest fight Hasselbeck ever found herself in on "The View" was sparked by Hasselbeck's refusal to defend O'Donnell in a debate over whether O'Donnell had called American troops terrorists. That was ugly, but it was also deeply real: there were stakes for the show (O'Donnell never returned) and in the issues at play.
"Defend your own insinuations! Defend your own thoughts!" Hasselbeck told O'Donnell. Shepherd refuses to do that, or even to acknowledge she's insinuated anything at all. All of her co-hosts defended her, and the conversation, a closed sign connected to nothing actually important in the culture, rolled on. The best thing that could happen to a show whose hosts seem alternately checked-out or strenuously avoiding talking about anything would be to bring in a host who is actually willing to go there, to say why she might disagree with the gay "lifestyle" rather than just hint at it.
I guess this most recent incarnation of The View is a little more honest to its own title. It's The View, not The Many Views after all, and now all the ladies (and Mario Cantone) are toeing the party line.