Joy Behar kicks off ‘Joy’s Banned Book Club’ with gay-penguin tale ‘And Tango Makes Three’

A red-headed woman smiles upon arrival at an event.
Joy Behar’s new book club on “The View” will focus on banned titles.
(Dario Cantatore / Invision / Associated Press )

Joy Behar is a woman who spent last year getting “lit.” This year, she’s a woman who wants bans off her books.

The comic and co-host of “The View” on Friday announced “Joy’s Banned Book Club,” a new weekly segment on the daytime talk show.

“Book bans have become an almost daily occurrence,” she said. “Last school year alone, there were more than 2,500 instances of books being banned in over 5,000 schools, including some of the best books ever written, like ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘The Catcher in the Rye.’ Even children’s books are under fire. So with that in mind, we’re introducing a new segment on the show this week.”


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Oct. 2, 2009

“Joy’s Banned Book Club” kicks off with the award-winning children’s book “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, with illustrations by Henry Cole.

The acclaimed 2005 book is inspired by the real-life story of two New York Zoo penguins who formed a bond during mating season and raised a baby chick together. Both adult penguins were male.

“This is not some kinky ‘[50] Shades of Grey’ for penguins,” Behar quipped. “It’s a sweet, graceful way to introduce children to the concept of acceptance of same-sex relationships and non-traditional families.”

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May 24, 2021

The book was removed from school libraries in Escambia County, Fla., last week for being “unsuitable and inappropriate” for elementary students, she said.

Behar then nodded to the ACLU, saying “a person can decide that they don’t want to read a book. A person can decide that they don’t want their child to read a book but a person cannot decide that an entire school or town can’t read a book.”

She added, “As for ‘And Tango Makes Three,’ our studio audience can decide for themselves, because you’re all getting a copy.”

“And Tango Makes Three” has been a point of contention since its 2005 release, appearing on the American Library Assn.’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books list as recently as 2019.


Conservative lawmakers and parents groups, such as Moms for Liberty and Mama Bears Rising, have been actively working to remove books like “And Tango Makes Three” from shelves — alleging that progressive ideas are confusing their children about race, sexuality and gender.

Watch Behar’s “Joy’s Banned Book Club” announcement below: