During Tuesday's "Today" show, host Natalie Morales asked her panel of "Today's Professionals" to respond to recent news that Anderson Cooper publicly announced that he is gay.
Morales asked the panel, which consisted of regulars Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Dr. Nancy Snyderman, if celebrities were obligated "to make their sexual preferences known." Jones said that she did not think that celebrities had an obligation. She noted, though, that she was a bit of a cynic, implying that Cooper may have come out for a specific reason.
"I've been in daytime television for a long time," Jones said. "He's a daytime talk show host and when the ratings slip in daytime, the hosts tend to tell you lots of things about them. I remember Oprah said she smoked crack. Oprah said she was pregnant at 14 and considered suicide. There were times that you generate information for ratings."
Jones seemed surprised by her last statement and gasped. "Whoa, I'm sorry I said that," Jones said. "But I say bravo! Bravo for him!"
Deutsch echoed part of Jones' sentiment, and said that Cooper's announcement will draw people to his show. While Cooper's daytime talk show airs on weekdays, he has not been on his nightly CNN show since last week. He returns to his show after the July 4th holiday. Cooper spoke out on Tuesday, thanking people for their support. Cooper tweeted, "I appreciate all the nice tweets. I am in Botswana working but want to wish everyone a great 4th of July!"