U.S. Markets closed

Howard Stern denies Sunny Hostin’s claim he used racist language: ‘I didn’t use the word. Let’s be very clear.’

Howard Stern was on The View Thursday for a wide-ranging conversation to promote his new book Howard Stern Comes Again. Co-Host Sunny Hostin took things in an unexpected direction when she claimed Stern had a history of using racist language on his radio show. “I found your show so offensive,” said Hostin. “You used the N-word a lot.”

Stern immediately denied the accusation. “We had a guy on from the Ku Klux Klan who very freely used the N-word, and my belief was, ‘Hey, say it out in the open.’ I didn’t use the N-word, let’s be very clear.”

Stern continued his explanation of why he allowed the word to be used. “I don’t like people who live under a rock. I said to the guy, ‘Let me hear what you’re saying and let’s confront it and let’s talk about it.’”

Despite her objection to Stern’s show, Hostin admitted that his new book, which is a collection of interviews he’s done over the years, changed her mind about him. “You’re a very different person today and I loved your book. I believe people evolve,” she told Stern.

“I’m not going to say the show isn’t crazy and wild,” explained Stern. “But we’ve also opened it up to some new ideas where people, some really fantastic people, are coming in and feel safe enough to be interviewed and get into some real conversation” he added.

Just before the commercial break, fellow panelist Meghan McCain weighed in. “I grew up listening to you, Cindy McCain is my mother, I love the show forever. I was never offended,” said McCain.

The comment drew a mix of strong reactions on Twitter from people who felt McCain was minimizing both Hostin’s feelings and others who may have found Stern’s show offensive:

Others found McCain’s praise of Stern hypocritical given her assertion that she’s an ally to marginalized groups like the LGBT community:

Some took The View itself to task for devoting almost the entire hour to the shock jock:

Stern did have his share of supporters:

Check out The View co-hosts discussing the near-total ban on abortions in Alabama:

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: