The View's Joy Behar forced to apologize for painfully awkward comments on New Zealand
Joy Behar (ABC)

"The View" host Joy Behar was forced to apologize for a painfully awkward transition from an update on the New Zealand massacre into the show's opening topic.

Behar, who's filling in for an ailing Whoopi Goldberg, reported the mosque shootings that left 49 Muslims dead after pointing out an especially enthusiastic audience member, and she then had to segue to a discussion about a Senate vote on President Donald Trump's emergency declaration.

"Our hearts are just broken over the act of terror that claimed 49 lives in two New Zealand mosques," Behar said. "Three people are in custody right now, and keep watching ABC News as this story unfolds. It's just awful, it's scary, the whole world is really scary right now."

"Okay," she added, "now you can get back to being happy again. We're sad for them, but what are we going to do? It's terrible."

Behar came out of a commercial break with an apology for her clumsy transition.

"I have a little bit of a bad feeling about how I set up and talked about the New Zealand tragedy," she said. "I think I sounded as though I was just, like, flippant about it, you know, and I'm not. I'm very upset about it."

"It's just that in this job it's hard to make these transitions," Behar added, "so if I came across little brittle it's only because you guys are happy, and a sad, terrible thing happened."

Co-host Abby Huntsman agreed Behar had been irate about the massacre when she arrived at the studio.

"I was horrified by it," Behar agreed. "It's a white supremacist doing it again, and I worry about it in this country. The whole thing was terrible, but when you're sitting in this chair you have to make that transition to something fun, and it's not easy to do."

Co-host Meghan McCain agreed bigotry must be called out, and she then inaccurately claimed guns were banned in New Zealand, where anyone over 16 considered by police to be "fit and proper" may own a licensed firearm.

"Guns are banned in New Zealand, so there's obviously conversations to be had," she said. "It was obviously smuggled in or bought on the black market. I will say, I think, it's easy sometimes to come in -- and I agree with you, Joy, it's hard. There's a wonderful audience in front of us, two gentlemen from Prescott, Arizona, sitting right in front, and we want to have a good time, and it's hard to make the transition so I understand what happened."