Amid a national conversation and controversy surrounding U.S. politicians pictured in blackface, “The View” co-host Joy Behar has been silent about a photo of herself now sweeping social media.
The photo, which shows the comedian dressed as what she called “a beautiful African woman,” was seen several years ago during an episode of the morning show. But after an editor from the Wrap posted a clip from the show on Twitter on Wednesday, it renewed a debate about whether Behar was expressing admiration or whether she should have faced consequences like people who have worn blackface.
During the morning show on Thursday, Behar and the other co-hosts did not address the issue.
Representatives for Behar and ABC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“Is that you, Joy?” Raven-Symoné, who was a co-host at the time, said with a shriek. “Joy, are you black? She was black!"
“Joy . . . Joy . . . Joy,” she continued. “Are you my auntie, Joy?”
Behar remarked at how “cute” she was, telling her co-hosts that the photo was taken at a Halloween party when she was 29. Behar said that she had dressed up as “a beautiful African woman.”
Raven-Symoné then asked whether Behar had worn tanning lotion for the occasion, and Behar explained that “I only had makeup that was a little bit darker than my skin. That’s my actual hair, though."
It comes as several politicians are battling backlash over old photos.
Former Florida secretary of state Michael Ertel (R) resigned last month over photos from 2005 that show him in blackface. Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) admitted this week that he, too, wore blackface when he was in college. Also this week, Florida freshman state Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R) defended his own blackface photo, saying that an image taken when he was a teen was a high school prank.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has also come under fire for a photo that appeared on his page of his medical school yearbook that showed one person in blackface and another in a KKK robe and hood. Northam first said he was one of them but then recanted, saying he was convinced he did not appear in the photo.
In recent years, a number of comedians and celebrities have also been called out over similar incidents, and some have apologized.