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Joy Behar Page

Rihanna: Abuse & Recovery

Aired November 05, 2009 - 21:00   ET


JOY BEHAR, HOST: Tonight on THE JOY BEHAR SHOW, singer Rihanna is finally saying it was a mistake to go back to the guy who beat her up. I`ll talk about Rihanna with comedienne Bret Butler, a victim of domestic violence.

Also, Carrie Prejean sued the Miss USA Pageant when she was stripped of her title and then settles when it was discovered that she`d stripped for the camera.

And Christian groups are protesting an upcoming episode of "Gossip Girl" which features a threesome with teenagers.

Joining me for a little gossip of our own, are funny ladies, Sandra Bernhard, Fran Drescher and Aisha Tyler.

And that is what we`re doing tonight.

We`ve all heard the story and seen the shocking picture: R&B singer Rihanna badly beaten at the hands of her famous boyfriend, Chris Brown. Today for the first time Rihanna spoke publicly about the incident in an interview with ABC`s Diane Sawyer.



RIHANNA, SINGER: This happened to me. I didn`t cause this. I didn`t do it. This happened to me and it could happen to anybody.

There are a lot of women who`ve experienced what I did but not in the public. So it made it really difficult.


BEHAR: With me now to discuss the all-too common problem of domestic violence are Brett Butler, actress and comedian, who is once a victim of domestic abuse; Kevin Powell, a domestic violence activist and author of ten books including "Open Letters to America"; and Dr. Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Welcome all of you.

Brett, let me start with you. I`ve known you for many years and I was very surprised to hear that you were a victim of domestic abuse. That was something that you really never told anybody.


BEHAR: When did this all happen to you?

BUTLER: I was 20. I married someone I had known in three months. My friend`s mother said you`re finally settling down when I got married at 20. That`s a Georgia mass I guess, but I got hit the day after we got married and I`ve never been hit in my life.

I don`t know how to put this -- poster children for saying, since mine is past tense. I want to say, when the picture of Rihanna came out and I saw her and I talked to some other friends, I called them, I sort of went through like trauma for a few days and something was wrong and I couldn`t figure it out and seeing her now is amazing.

I didn`t like the demonization. People came out and twittered their rage at Chris Brown which is so -- to me like, do that -- do that when you`re at home. The issue is something that happens to everyone. If you just pick apart one person, you make it seem so rare.

But yes, it happened a long time ago. And...

BEHAR: Which part of the story did you relate to the most?

BUTLER: Being 20 years old and having someone that you are -- our bodies are built first of all to connect, to procreate and do all that. So I mean, when you fall in love that`s some scientific thing going on, so when they hit you, you want to go well, what part of the DNA was this in.


BUTLER: The -- that she was asking for it theory -- the shame of it is amazing and years later when I met more women there`s nothing -- by the way, there`s no club. There`s no friend you call. Even your best friends are like, honey get out. And I`ve stayed in shelters and you do keep going back. I do know...

BEHAR: Well, a lot of women blame themselves. Did you blame yourself?

BUTLER: Of course. Of course, you blame yourself...

BEHAR: In what way? How did do you that?

BUTLER: If you were less this or more that, it wouldn`t happen. You wouldn`t make him mad. His mother said to me once, I told him not to hit you so much. And I remember thinking, when? Just on birthdays?

It`s -- it was hard -- it was hard, too, because that happened in my life years before I ever was in show business and then I got a show and they went and found him, exacerbating things in his life more than mine. I`ve moved on...

BEHAR: I like the way she said, I told him not to hit you so much.

BUTLER: Yes, yes.

BEHAR: As if it`s almost a given that any man is going to hit a woman.

BUTLER: Yes, and he didn`t come from that. But it`s almost like, kind of like alcoholism in a way. It was like it can skip generations. I think it`s terrific people who have done that, who -- we can choose every day to join some new tribe. And I`m in the one that doesn`t get hit or high anymore.

I don`t think, also, I just feel really proud for Rihanna for doing this. I think she`s done it in a strong way. I don`t -- don`t think I`ve heard anything from her. I just urge people to be careful about bending just on one person.

BEHAR: Did comedy help you? Is that the way you coped with all of this? Because...

BUTLER: You know what, I shouldn`t say this, but I remember once alone and it only happens alone, he was actually choking me into unconsciousness and started to hit me in the head and in my head really -- it just came in my head. I went, hey, pick one. I know that sounds horrible. I made myself kind of laugh in this way.

Yes. When we did "Grace under Fire" and Tom Warner and Marcie Carsey (ph) said, how would you feel about that being the aspect to the character?

BEHAR: Yes, you did use that part of your character in "Grace under Fire" which made it a very effective show, I think.

BUTLER: I liked it. It took years for me to stop jumping when people came up behind me. There`s a lot of surprise maneuvers in domestic violence relationships and I wanted to say, from my side, I hate the new age word but I co-created that, I stayed for three years and danced with that. I chose -- yes, I didn`t have a lot of options, but I made that part of my life at the time.

BEHAR: That`s interesting.

BUTLER: Spreading my wings in a bigger way. Yes, it saved me. It got me toward comedy and it got me towards -- and I don`t do the comedy of rape. Yes, I forgive him, of course I do. And I want to say this because I don`t say this easily either. And it`s true, my ex-husband`s son told me that, they do not know who did it by the way, I want to underline.

They do not know who beat his mother into a semi-vegetative state but she lost custody of her younger child and that happened to his second wife. They do not know who did that. But his son wrote me a letter about it.

BEHAR: Well, the ex-wife? The next wife?

BUTLER: Yes, the one after me.

BEHAR: Yes, yes.

BUTLER: He didn`t press charges, he didn`t go to jail. He married someone else and had a child. This child has been in touch with me, he`s a grown man now.

And on one end I said, ok, if I reported him, you wouldn`t be here. And to anybody that`s in this on the giving or receiving end of it, there`s so many other ways out of it now that weren`t available when it was happening to me. So...

BEHAR: Ok, Brett, stay with us. I want to bring in the rest of my panel to continue this discussion.

BUTLER: Thanks Joy.

BEHAR: Gail, Dr. Gail, I`d like to call you. Rihanna says it could happen to anyone. Could it happen to anyone?

DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST: You know, there are probably some people who, frankly, if it started happening would just walk out. There are people who are more susceptible, more able to be co-dependent with someone and more apt to pick someone who is potentially volatile. That being said, it could happen to a lot of women that I think it would never happen to them.

BEHAR: I know. It happens to all kinds of women.

SALTZ: All kinds of women, women who appear to other people to be very strong, women who think they`re quite confident.

BEHAR: Right.

SALTZ: Woman who have said to themselves, "I would never let a man hit me."

BEHAR: And then it happens.

SALTZ: Absolutely.

BEHAR: So what do you think is the psychological explanation for being a victim then? What is it about some people who are in that position -- I mean, Brett did you ever get any kind of therapy for this, did you find out anything about yourself?

BUTLER: Yes, I was reading, "I`m Ok, You`re Ok" when I was 11, I think yes, yes.


BUTLER: So I mean, in all of that self -- yes, I did. And until the person that it`s happening to realizes there really are choices and there`s no safety net under you.

SALTZ: Right, I think there was very often as susceptibility, a low self-esteem...


SALTZ: ... a feeling somehow that you`re deserving of punishment that you might not even be conscious of.


SALTZ: That can fall for or lead you to get connected with somebody who would dole it out.

BEHAR: Kevin, Kevin, let me go to you. You are a reformed abuser. He used to do it, he doesn`t do that anymore. What do you think is the psychological explanation for an abuser, Kevin? Do you have any ideas?

KEVIN POWELL, AUTHOR, "OPEN LETTERS TO AMERICA": Well, definitely, because I do a lot of work these days around gender violence prevention and I think that we need to be clear that violence is a learned behavior.

And as I`ve been saying to a lot of young men in workshops around the country, we often realize as men, with also with our background that we`re socialized to think that man who has to do with aggressiveness and has to do with violence and has to do with seeing women and girls as in fear to us which means that we can easily relate to them as sexual objects.

And God forbid, often times put our hands on them.

But I can`t tell you how many stories that I`ve seen and heard around the country of women who live literally in fear of their husband, of their boyfriends, of men in their lives who`ve been abusive to them.

And something that was said by one of your guests is very critical; the self-esteem issue is the thing comes up every time. I mean, just this year, after the Rihanna/Chris Brown situation two of my friends, who are highly professional women who would you never think would end up in this situation, both of them were battered this year.

And so it says something about this epic...


BEHAR: Yes, that`s what you`re saying right now.


BEHAR: I was talking to Gail -- I`m sorry I interrupted you -- she was saying that you never know who is going to be struck by this. Any kind of a person, could be a very strong person, independent woman, it could be anybody.

POWELL: Absolutely.

BEHAR: Exactly what you were saying.

Brett let me ask you something. Do you think it`s fair to say that Rihanna should have come out earlier? She`s coming out now. She has a new CD and is it too cynical to say well, she timed it...

BUTLER: I`m not there. I`m not there. You know what? She`s 20 years old.

BEHAR: Right. She`s too young.

BUTLER: I was 35 when I got famous and knocked me through a loop. That`s a separate thing. The shame of it a myth (ph) it`s crippling. That`s a big part of it.

BEHAR: Ok. Don`t go away.

When we come back we`re going to have more on this subject.



RIHANNA, SINGER: I fell in love with that person. That`s embarrassing. That`s embarrassing that that`s the type of person that I fell in love with, so far in love, so unconditional that I went back.


BEHAR: That`s Rihanna in an interview with ABC`s Diane Sawyer saying that she was embarrassed for having been in love with her abuser, Chris Brown.

I`m back with my guests and joining our conversation is Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition against Domestic Violence.

Rita, I keep hearing the word "love." Is there really love in this relationship or just co-dependency?

RITA SMITH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: I think that`s an interesting conversation. That`s what she defined as love. That`s what she knew as love. And so for her she was deeply in love with him.

I think what we have to do is disconnect love and violence. If people understand that there is no violence in love, then it can`t be love.

BEHAR: To me the definition of love is that you care about the well- being of the other person more than for yourself even. That`s why when you love a child, you worry about them and care about them.


BEHAR: If you hit somebody, how do you call that love? It`s impossible to call that love?

SALTZ: You know people unfortunately have different definitions of love and sometimes they`re very sick definitions of love. You know, when you have low self-esteem and you want to love yourself, you try to control the other person to give you power.

POWELL: Absolutely.

SALTZ: To love yourself more, essentially.

POWELL: Absolutely.

SALTZ: So these are very self-centered people that do these kinds of things. There`s a lot of narcissism and insecurity involved.

And you know what, she said something so important, she was embarrassed.

BEHAR: Embarrassed, yes.

SALTZ: The shame is what keeps this problem hidden because the women realize at some level it reveals something about themselves. That she didn`t want the world to know that she felt that insecure and that dependent.

BEHAR: That she felt weak.

SALTZ: And weak that she would go back. And it`s a shame because had she been able to grapple with that and coming sooner, it would have made a bigger impact, I think for women.

BEHAR: Jump in Kevin. Go ahead Kevin.

POWELL: Well, a couple of things what I want to say.

One: people assume because Rihanna is this major superstar that she should have said something right away. Just because you`re famous doesn`t mean that you have high self-esteem. She`s just a very talented young lady who was thrust in this position and I think she needed this time to really process what happened to her and to do some serious healing.

And number two: in the workshops that I do with males around the country, we`re talking about the dynamic of power, this need to control women, to control the relationships they`re in with women. And we try to deconstruct that.

And what I always say to men, your definition of manhood should be rooted in nonviolence real love which is that you would never put your hands on a woman. Never use derogatory language and not engage in an emotionally abusive relationship because there`s not just physical abuse, there`s also emotional abuse. And you would have a relationship that is rooted in peace and communication.

And when we don`t have that, we have a recipe for the kind domestic violence situation we see all around the country that are not in epidemic proportions.

BEHAR: Is it safe to say that most of these abuse victims and perpetrators were abused as children?

SALTZ: Yes, it is.

POWELL: Oh, absolutely.

SALTZ: Most often there has been abuse and actually that is their model for love, which is a lousy, lousy model.

BEHAR: Brett, let me ask you something, Brett.

BUTLER: I was not, by the way.

BEHAR: You were not. You were not hit as a child?

BUTLER: No, not at all. Like I said, I`ve never been struck. My mother`s idea of a spanking was hard not to giggle. She just -- I never got struck.

SALTZ: Not the person who`s been abused, the abuser.


BEHAR: The abuser is the one that -- we can assume...

SALTZ: Sometimes the person who`s been abused has been, too, but more often it`s a repetition on the part, particularly of men, who have had abusive fathers.

BUTLER: I wanted to say this about love. Yes, we love them and these are not awful horrible, 100 percent completely bad people. They are -- they have narcissism I think by definition includes not being empathetic or never being able to get enough attention -- I would look that up. But they are not all bad.

That`s what -- throwing the baby out with the bath water and I understand about her saying embarrassed -- it`s a light word for what she feels. But at least she wasn`t with Kanye.

BEHAR: Ok. Listen to what else Rihanna said in an interview with ABC`s Diane Sawyer.


DIANE SAWYER, ABC HOST: What were you doing to fight back?

RIHANNA: I was really just trying to -- I just wanted it to stop. I just wanted it to stop. I was not interested in hurting him back.


BEHAR: Ok. How do -- do a lot of victims fight back, Rita?

SMITH: Well in a variety of different ways they do. Some of them use violence; some of them use very creative tactics around getting out of the house. Fighting back is a relative term. They are trying to protect themselves and they use as creative a way as they can do that. Sometimes they pick up a weapon, unfortunately and then they get put into prison.

So I think that the interesting part I think is that we need to understand that people need support for trying to get away and that what is happening is someone is making a choice to use violence. He`s making a choice to use that violence.

BEHAR: Brett, did you fight back?

BUTLER: No. I didn`t.

BEHAR: You did not?

BUTLER: I know what people say I seem like, or whatever. No, I never hit back. And the "Burning Bed" was a -- the Farrah Fawcett film played wasn`t even out then. We didn`t know it happened.

And I want to say this. I could have died so many times. This is what it took to make me leave. We were in a hotel and he had a rifle and shot it at me and I heard the bullet go by my ear. And for a smart person, I remember thinking, you know, I don`t think there could be any closer call than that.

At one point he was sleeping out of the blue and I found a pipe wrench under a sink -- this is in the middle of the marriage -- and I remember thinking about, very clinically, just ending it. And he was asleep.

We leave a million times and it -- the awful secret of it coming to light. If that cost Rihanna something, I`m sorry but I know it`s really a big topic of conversation around young people now.

POWELL: It is.

BEHAR: Ok. We`ll have more about this in minute. Don`t go away. We`ll be right back.


BEHAR: We`re back discussing the pop singer and abuse victim Rihanna and the wider issue of domestic violence in this country. There will be a number that you can call if you`re watching and you need to get help.

Let me ask both of you, you and Brett, Gail; for viewers at home, they are listening, they`re watching, what should somebody do who is watching this show and is in the middle of a domestic abuse situation at home with their husband? Anybody, really?

SALTZ: There`s really no two ways about it. You have to get out. But you pre-plan because you have to go somewhere that your spouse cannot find you. So you should call the help number. They can help you get organized.

You should either have a shelter you know you`re going to, a friend you know you`re going to with no clue where you are going. You bring your kids with you if you have children. Take whatever moneys you can to get -- but you must get out. You rally friends around you and you be completely silent. Because, unfortunately, in this situation, this is often where a man in a rage who is already trying to control you and you step out of his control, will really escalate.

BEHAR: And you don`t tip your hand at all.

SALTZ: You do not tip your hand but you must get out.

BEHAR: Brett, did do something like that to get out?

BUTLER: Yes and no. I left so much. I left a lot. You hope, you think he`ll change. Light years go by in terms of present exposure for people that know about this now. If you`re in it, you know by now that there are places for you. If you have kids, that is something -- to me, you know, what Kevin was talking about, he stopped the cycle in his life. There are a lot of guys that have done that and are doing it.

And I just think make it easier for people who are doing it to get help. The demonization of a person who is a batterer, it could have been - - look if the shoe was on the other foot, it could have been me. I have my own screwy things.

BEHAR: Did you become violent at all after this yourself?

BUTLER: No. No. I don`t have that -- I`ve got a lot of fault for a lot of things that are wrong and it takes a long time to get better and trust. Even after you leave him, you`re struck with the woman that let this happen to her.

And same if you`re a guy that did it. We all get new slates and I`m really glad that you`re doing this. And...

BEHAR: What about these guys who apologize, they cry, they are on their knee, "I`ll never do it again." They don`t really mean it, do they?

SALTZ: You know, they might even mean it at the time. They might even convince themselves of that in the moment. Certainly they are going to convince you.


SALTZ: And unfortunately, that is highly rare -- highly unusual the man will hit you and not hit you again.

BEHAR: And not do it again. So the first time you get hit, you should really get out.


SALTZ: And by the way, I`m not saying a man can`t get better, obviously we have evidence of that. But it take as long time and a lot of help.

BUTLER: There are flags that come up before that hit comes. Pay attention to those mean things that they say. If something feels unfair, it is.

SALTZ: What comes before that is often is a controlling of you emotionally, verbally, isolating you from your friends and family in an attempt to keep you away from the people frankly who you could reflect with and say this doesn`t feel right. Something is going on.

BEHAR: Just like you tell children, if it feels icky, it`s true.

SALTZ: If you are being isolated, if you see that going on -- ok.

BEHAR: Ok. Thanks very much to all of my guests. Thank you, Brett.

Next, we`re going to change the tone. Some three very funny ladies join me and we`ll lighten things up a bit.

Carrie Prejean, a lawsuit and a sex tape; that`s quite a turn.



CARRIE PREJEAN: I think it`s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what? In my country and in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there. But that`s how I was raised and that`s how I think it should be, between a man and a woman.


BEHAR: Yes that was Carrie Prejean, who became the face of the anti- gay marriage movement. She sued pageant officials after losing her crown but defense lawyer reportedly, listen to this, got their hands on a sex tape showing her engaging in a solo sex act. She likes to deal with a better class of people, I guess. Here to talk about this and a whole lot more our friend Fran Drescher, and actress, Aisha Tyler, and Sandra Bernhard, whose album, "Whatever it Takes" is in stores now. So ladies, what is more fun besides winning the lottery than a conservative getting caught in a sex tape. Is there anything better than that?

SANDRA BERNHARD, SINGER: That`s what they always do. It was Prejean and a Prejean. A before and after.

BEHAR: That`s right.

BERNHARD: A very sophisticated Carrie Prejean.

BEHAR: And she`s alone in it.

AISHA TYLER, ACTRESS/COMEDIAN: So this is -- that`s the mystifying part of it because we`re always waiting for the great gay tape. We`re just praying for the gay tape. But -- this is self-pleasuring, it`s mildly gay.

BEHAR: How do you get out? If there`s another guy in it usually or another woman, then they would release it. She would have released it or the maid.

FRAN DRESCHER, ACTRESS/COMEDIAN/ACTIVIST: No well, you know, I mean photos, -- and people have access to photos nowadays. I don`t even understand people that get in front of cameras...


BEHAR: If you take a film piece of playing with yourself - What would you do when you are done with it?

DRESCHER: Of course that would never, ever happen. Really. I mean, you know, it`s like, no, no cameras. If you don`t want to be seen doing something that might compromise you, then do not get in front of a camera and do it. And odds are it`s going to come back and haunt you. Listen, she`s certainly entitled to her opinion. I just don`t understand why anybody can justify someone compromising someone`s civil liberties.

BEHAR: Oh yes me know. She doesn`t really care about that.

But again the release she gets -

BEHAR: She`s got the Christian thing going on. That it`s against the Bible or something.

TYLER: I also think in the Bible it says, you know that if you masturbate you`re going to get fur on your hands or something like that.

BERNHARD: You know what, winter is coming. I don`t mind that idea actually. I would like to see fur everywhere.


BERNHARD: Don`t tell PETA because I`m on her good side.

DRESCHER: I know Christians that live by the golden rule and are supportive of diversity, quite frankly, and there are extremists everywhere and, you know, I -- I would like to think that she`s the exception to the rule.

BEHAR: Well, I like to think that but this isn`t Carrie`s first sex tape scandal. She got into trouble after published these topless pictures which she never disclosed to the pageant committee before. Let`s see them.

BERNHARD: There they are.

BEHAR: She`s a gorgeous girl. I think she looks gorgeous.


BERNHARD: Joy, put your glasses back on. It looks like some tawdry...


TYLER: It`s like a wig embedded into her skull. She`s like a Barbie doll.


DRESCHER: You know, you have to feel really sorry for someone that thinks that it`s OK to be objectified but actually draws the line when it`s two people of the same sex loving each other. And you know that - that goes -- ignorance is...

TYLER: She`s not that bright. I think the bottom line is she`s not a smart girl.

BERNHARD: I think if you`re feeling sorry for the people living homeless on the street of New York City.

BEHAR: You only has that much to give, I mean, you know.

BERNHARD: I can`t -- Carrie Prejean doesn`t quite get my pity.

BEHAR: OK, let`s talk about gay marriage. Changing the topic. There you go, no let`s just move on, or we won`t get -- voters in Maine have rejected a law that allow same sex marriages, as you probably know. Here`s what Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry said on AC360 last night


ANDERSON COOPER: Would it have made a difference if President Obama had talked about this more -- or had talked about it at all, frankly?

EVAN WOLFSON, FOUNDER/EXEC. DIR., FREEDOM TO MARRY: Well, President Obama does oppose these kinds of discriminatory measures, restricting and repealing and stripping away rights and would have helped, I believe, had he spoken out more clearly.


BEHAR: Do you think Obama was too quiet?

BERNHARD: I love Obama, but I think he`s always too quiet.

TYLER: First of all, he has a million things to do. And right now, you know, look, I voted for him. I campaigned for him when he was running. We want him to solve every problem and end homeless and hunger. I let him come to my house to rely some tiles that`s cracked. Everybody wants the President to solve every problem. And he has a lot on his plate. I do think that this is going to come down to a Supreme Court decision and it will. And it will be legal in our lifetime. And I can say, look, I`m married to a white man and it use to be illegal for black people to marry white people. We can overcome that hurdle.


TYLER: You should see our naked sex tape.

BERNHARD: Here`s the bottom line. We need to stop doing straight people`s hair. We need to stop decorating their homes. We need to stop designing their clothes and then we`ll see how quickly they come around and let us have gay marriage because we do everything that makes them sheik and hot and hip, and the drag queens are snapping. But, honey -- I`m pretending. (CROSSTALK)

BEHAR: The truth of the matter with Obama is that when he was running against - when he was running he was against gay marriage.

TYLER: He always was.

BEHAR: So which part of that sentence don`t the activists understand or believe? He said no.

TYLER: He`s our great half way hope. And people want him to do everything and he can`t do everything but this will happen and I think that liberals will -

BERNHARD: Progressives have to be patient. We have two wars. People are going nuts. I`m sure there are --

DRESCHER: And what I hope that we see is the don`t ask, don`t tell eliminated because that just doesn`t work.

TYLER: That would be a great thing and they are.

DRESCHER: It`s just always a domino effect and the more that I -- I do agree with you. It`s going to ultimately become a Supreme Court civil rights issue. And just like it`s totally a civil rights case. Ad just like with interracial marriages, people got use to the idea.

BEHAR: Some people are not use to it.


TYLER: Sort of like the guy --

BERNHARD: Thank God.

BEHAR: Remember Ted Haggard? Remember him?

BERNHARD: Who could forget him?

BEHAR: I know how you could forget him, one of the greats.

BURNAHRD: One of the sexier closet cases here in America. Oh my gosh.

BEHAR: Talk about needing an overhaul. OK. He was the leader of a megachurch and he had sex with a male prostitute, which he denied at first.

BERNHARD: Don`t we all?

BEHAR: And then he - let`s listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED: Have you ever used meth before?

HAGGARD: No, I did not. And I did not ever use it with him.

UNIDENTIFIED: And did you ever have sex with him?

HAGGARD: No, I did not.


BEHAR: OK so let`s see he confessed that he did have sex with a male prostitute.


BEHAR: I think he now believes that he`s over his homosexuality. He`s cured.

BERNHARD: As most people can do.

BEHAR: Pray to not be gay. He did that. And he`s now an insurance agent. And he`s starting a new church in his basement.

BERNHARD: That`s so perfect. An insurance salesman. Another scam.

TYLER: He goes on and recently he was making his comeback and says, I have a therapist and I asked my therapist, am I gay? And the therapist says, no, you just like to have sex with men. I mean, come on. What is the definition if not you want to have sex with people of your own gender?


DRESCHER: You would be amazed how many people draw that distinction of being legitimate --

BERNHARD: It`s a lifestyle choice. He does not choose to want to live like a gay man and he wants to have the pleasure in private and never actually reveal it because it`s shameful for him.


BEHAR: What do you think of the down low? What do you think of that?

BERNHARD: The down low?

BEHAR: The down low.

BERNHARD: Well, that`s a very Atlanta thing. You know Ian Harris, one of my favorite author wrote about it constantly. What do we think about it? It`s detrimental to relationships, to women.

TYLER: To women. It`s dangerous.

BERNHARD: What is there to say? People need to come out, people need to be who they are and learn to be comfortable with it.

BEHAR: But why is it that the loudest religious people are always the ones breaking the rules, like -


BERNHARD: Because they`re -

BEHAR: Like Carrie Prejean and --

BERNHARD: They are hiding behind it because they are full of shame; they`re full of fear and fear-based


BERNHARD: And they are hiding behind religion.


DRESCHER: Protest too much, you know, and somebody really grand stand -

BERNHARD: He was going - you old dumbo.

DRESCHER: But you know, you got to wonder about people that have so much fire about something.

BERNHARD: That was the point, exactly.

BEHAR: I love the schools. I love these people who say, the kids can`t learn about homosexuality because it`s going to make them gay.

BERNHARD: Ridiculous.

BEHAR: I mean I study geometry, I still can`t do math. That has nothing to do with it.

TYLER: I don`t understand they`ve got to learn about it on the streets.

BEHAR: That`s where they learn - like we did?

TYLER: Like are you kidding? Drug, sex?

DRESCHER: You know I just came from a weekend seminar with the dalai lama and he said -- I.

BERNHARD: I thought you were glowing.

(LAUGHTER) DRESCHER: No, no it wasn`t boring at all. And he says compassion is the answer and we must all live by the golden rule and global peace is not meaning a world without problems. But it means a deliberate choice to solve problems peacefully.

BEHAR: See I think laughing is the key to everything.

BERNHARD: I agree.


TYLER: Laughter is also like sunshine. You`re shining light on stuff that nobody wants to talk about. And what`s great about comedy is you can say the worse things, the edgiest things, the craziest things, and people will listen to you. Whereas you know -

BERNHARD: Fran, I think it`s interesting that people like you are the ones who go to the Dalai Lama. I`m sure that - he didn`t have to twist your arm behind your back to have compassion.

DESCHER: But then I come on national television like this and I further his message through my window.

BERNHARD: Of course.

DESCHER: And make it relatable.

BEHAR: OK we`re going to come back - more -- we have more topics so don`t go away.

BERNHARD: OK I know you do.

BEHAR: Yes, so don`t go away.


BEHAR: OK. That was an ad promoting an upcoming threesome scene in "Gossip Girls." A show about teenagers. The parent`s council wants stations to pull the episode. I`m back with my fabulous panel of Fran, Aisha Tyler, and Sandra Bernhard. Sandra let me ask you a question. Are kids being told that threesomes are a good idea? Do you think it`s a good idea to show kids threesomes?

BERNHARD: Well, I encourage my young daughter, who is 11 to get involved as -- of course not. It`s ironic. Once again it`s like, we have shows on with, and you know, Kate Gosselin on with having eight kids. Where`s that meant - pull in the birth control? Then we wouldn`t have to worry about three ways. I -- we have to start with controlling the education at home. It`s out of control.

TYLER: Yes, take responsibility for your kids.

BEHAR: It`s saying the CW channel is saying that the show is not targeted to teens. I don`t think 70 year olds are watching this Gossip Girls

BERNHARD: My mother loves it.

TYLER: I will admit though -


DESCHER: There are teenagers in this show?

BEHAR: Yes. That`s the promotion anyway.

DESCHER: Is the -- in the episode is there a down side to these kids - is there some kind of a lesson?


BEHAR: Learn a lesson - is just funny.


TYLER: Let me just break the news to everybody here. If you don`t know, teenagers have sex. I don`t know if anybody -- like they do it and, first of all, we are not encouraging them not to do it but they do. And if you hide it and ignore it. And you fake it and you act like your kid is not doing you are doing them and yourself a disservice because kids have sex.

BEHAR: Well the parents don`t like it.

TYLER: These are the tools -- use it as a teaching moment. My father had a very specific -

BERNHARD: I don`t think most kids are going to avoid it, but they should be educated about birth control.

TYLER: I avoided it because I had a parent who actively talked.

BERNHARD: You were tall and that intimidated the boys -- boys ran away. They were terrified. They fled -- it`s a longer show, it`s a longer segment, Joy.

BEHAR: Let me just show you some of the plaque cards, the posters that they are celebrating with the show. Every parent`s worst nightmare, they`re showing that. "A nasty piece of work" and mind-blowingly in appropriate and very bad for you -

BERNHARD: I don`t think the show is doing well. So -


DESCHER: And it`s November suites. They are desperately trying to get ratings.

BERNHARD: I don`t think any kid is going to watch something about sex and then run out immediately and do it. I mean they may be tantalized by it -- they may find it oh but -

DESCHER: I have to say that it`s all about supply and demand. And even though it would be great if producers took some response -- social responsibility, you don`t have to watch it.


DESCHER: And if nobody watches it, believe me, they would stop writing the shows that way.

BEHAR: None of the affiliates have pulled the episodes.



BURHARD: This was the lesson that my father used to give me every day when I would leave for school in high school, keep your grades and your drawers up. And it was hard for me to forget.


BEHAR: Which brings me to my last topic with you, girls, who is that the New York comedy festival is opening up and there`s are no male -- a whole bunch of guys and not one female. Does that bother you? We are all funny ladies, what do you think?

DESCHER: You mean that no one asked us?

BEHAR: I`ve been in it before.

BERNHARD: I think it depends on the money. For me, sometimes I played town hall recently. You know, it`s better to do a one off because if you get stuck in a whole big festival, not everybody is going to come see you and you don`t get enough attention and focus. I always believe to go into a city and do your own thing. Unless you`re starting or in a situation where you need an extra boost.

TYLER: Well that`s the thing, you know. There are a lot of up and comers -

BERNHARD: Who cares?

TYLER: in this town that is funny, young women who don`t - who are not at the level to play town hall.

BERNHARD: Exactly.

TYLER: Not at the level to head at a club - who are funny who are not being-because really -- the festivals are not for us. We can work and we can go and book our own clubs and dates. These young women who need a break are not being brought into this system where they are being seen and exposed to people. That`s the problem.

BEHAR: What about Wanda Sykes, who is getting her own late-night show. Which is unusual for a woman in comedy to have a late night show? It`s great.

BERNHARD: Well I think its great timing. You know she`s a black woman and we have a black president and I think you know people are interested.

BEHAR: Well, there was a White President when I was doing it and I didn`t get it.

BERNHARD: Well, because you already have your show. We`ve all been waiting here for a long time in the power of position. And she`s part of it and she`s funny and talented. So then she`s on once a week. It would be interesting to see. One show and a limitation on how -

DESCHER: I think comedy is very cyclical. There was a time when there were mostly women stand-up comedians. You have Phyllis Filler and Tony and -- right.


BEHAR: Elaine Boozier.

TYLER: They just did a cover of Vanity, just a year ago saying, women are funny and taking over comedy. And then now you look at a festival as big as this one and there are no women in it. I mean I don`t know the cycle was pretty freaking` short.

BEHAR: Do you think that if Wanda does well on FOX - by the way isn`t it interesting that FOX Entertainment is so edgy and FOX News is to the right of Kaiser Wilhelm.

BERNHARD: Well it`s run by two different people. And they all want to make money.

TYLER: But it`s owned by the same person though, but he doesn`t care.

BEHAR: But do you think it will start a trend of more women in late night? All the shows are in trouble. Conan`s in trouble. Jay is in trouble.

BERNHARD: Once again it`s on a Saturday night, you know, it`s once a week. Are they going to suddenly give a woman a nightly show? I don`t know.

DESCHER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) has a nightly show. All right. She does well. She`s funny.


BEHAR: OK, then. We`ll be right back with more in a minute. Stay there.


BEHAR: I`m back with three talented, hard-working women. Let`s talk about what you`re doing with your lives these days. You`re doing some voice of an animated character?

TYLER: I have a new show called "Archer." It`s "Family Guy" meets "Spies" and James Bond. It`s a cartoon, it`s very, - and FX is very edgy. I`m stacked in it, which is awesome. I come home, my husband is watching and he`s like, hey whatever -- look at her. It`s a foxy cartoon. So that comes out in January. Really fun -- like animated stuff is so easy and fun.


DESCHER: It`s such a great gig. And it`s the 20th anniversary of "the Simpsons."


BERNHARD: I have a music album out "whatever it takes" and I will be at Joe`s pubs from December 26th through new year`s. And I have a new film coming out called "Dare" which is a coming of age film that I play a therapist in.

TYLER: And I`m on tour as well. You can find out more online.

BEHAR: And Fran has a skin care line.


DESCHER: It`s launched on Tuesday November - on HSN. It`s all natural, it`s eco friendly. Look at that packaging.


DESCHER: And part of the proceeds goes to Cancer.


DESCHER: And we launch November 10th.

BEHAR: Are you sure I won`t get some of those (inaudible) instead?

DESCHER: Got it. No it`s a great product. It`s my company. I developed it. I`m not a gun for hire, it`s a real deal. And it`s a perfect extension of my Cancer Survival and Women`s Health Advocacy. It`s all made in the US of A

BEHAR: OK that`s great. Aisha you`re also doing some standup?

TYLER: I`m on tour.

BEHAR: Where are you going?

TYLER: My comedy central special is out on DVD right now, it`s called Aisha Tyler is Lit. And I`m on tour -- I`m in Atlanta this weekend and then I go to California, Raleigh, North Carolina. If you visit or come follow me on tour.

BEHAR: Everybody`s busy working.


DESCHER: You know that`s not the next mountain I want to climb. I mean

BERNHARD: You did enough with that?


BERNHARD: Talk at a lot of work.

DESCHER: There are some good ones but I just climbed that mountain and it turned into classic television. So it`s not something I want to do right now. It`s on nick at night all over again.

BEHAR: Well it`s hard to get a sitcom all about a Jewish families?

DESCHER: Well you know, when we got the green light to make the pilot, we did get a call that if we could make the character Italian that Proctor and Gamble would buy it outright. I said it`s not going to be authentic and we`re not going to be able to do it at the pace we want and have the specificity that it will have if it`s Jewish and let`s just do it Jewish and hope for the best.

BEHAR: And they did and it`s a great hit. Like other shows when you really push.

BERNHARD: Embraced worldwide.


BEHAR: And I feel like embracing you all.


BERNHARD: Everybody I know is watching the show.

BEHAR: I`m so glad. Thank you, Sandra. Thanks all of you. And thanks to everybody I mean we`re going off the air now. Goodbye. See you tomorrow.