There’s been plenty of oddball stuff to come out of “The View,” but it’s also a staple of our pop culture. But, just like any other fundamental part of the media, there’s always the chance for it to get a bit dramatic.
“The View” has been airing every weekday since 1997, when Barbara Walters’s brainchild premiered on ABC with a panel of women who would discuss the hot topics of the week. I think it’s fair to say that this is fairly common knowledge, but if you’re not a longtime watcher of the show, let's get you up to speed on these ladies.
Big names that have conquered the job of co-host include Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos, Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O'Donnell, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Jenny McCarthy, Raven-Symoné and Candace Cameron Bure. The current line-up consists of Behar, Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, Meghan McCain, Abby Huntsman and Ana Navarro, and even if they may be fairly tame with each other, that doesn’t mean it’s always been smooth sailing.
It’s more like what’s about to happen.
Next week (April 2), journalist Ramin Setoodeh’s tell-all book “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View’” comes out, which apparently details how multiple co-hosts tried to wrangle the show from Walters’ hands (she departed from her post in 2014 after nearly two decades). With that comes the stories of humiliations, betrayals and how the crew handled it all. In other words, this book is a hotbed for scandal.
Claiming exclusive interviews with almost every host “The View” has seen, “Ladies Who Punch” will go into the feud between O’Donnell and Goldberg and what happened when Walters ultimately retired from the morning show, among other pieces of gossip.
Like when Walters threatened to quit if the show took O’Donnell back after booting her in 2007. The two reportedly did not get along; O’Donnell fostered some negative attention from other prominent members of the media and clashed with one of the executive producers. When O’Donnell published a memoir after she left that included a scathing critique of Walters, Walters allegedly orchestrated a New York Post article that made O’Donnell sound psychologically unstable.
Or the time when Goldberg was pretty publicly cruel to O’Donnell upon her brief return in 2014, stemming from an on-air disagreement about their stances on Roman Polanski.
“Whoopi Goldberg was as mean as anyone has ever been on television to me, personally -- while I was sitting there...The worst experience I’ve ever had on live television was interacting with her,” she says in the book, but that “she’s a minority, feminist, smart, funny, groundbreaking legend who is black in America. I’m never going to not have respect for Whoopi Goldberg. But that was a painful experience, personally and professionally.”
Not to mention the book reportedly doesn’t exactly shine Walters in the best light; the Huffington Post says that the claims made by Setoodeh make Walters out to be an undermining and manipulative force -- and no one stood in her way.
Then there’s the more petty parts, like how Jones claims her co-hosts were out to ruin her reputation by leaking information about her gastric bypass surgery before she shared the information publicly herself, which Setoodeh revealed to Andy Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live.” Except, Jones made a statement to PEOPLE that didn’t seem to go along with that story: “My time at ‘The View’ was one of the great opportunities of my lifetime. Of course there were conflicts over the years, however...the opportunity to sit beside [Barbara Walters] for so many years was a ‘master class’ in many aspects of my personal and professional life that I relish and am eternally grateful for.” OK then!
Vieira cries ageism, O’Donnell claims human resources was all but nonexistent and Walters may not be so much the feminist trailblazer she’s made herself out to be. I expect the backlash from this book is not going to be pretty.
What do we think about it?
There’s not much in the media world that gets done without scandal or drama, as unfortunate as it is. Do I wish that Barbara Walters wasn’t being accused of being an undermining wench, so as to maintain this perception of a women-in-the-workplace pioneer? Well, of course. And the fact that these women (who should be inspirational forces in their own right) are playing into the catty reputation we’re all trying to shed is fairly depressing.
Nevertheless, this is simply the show business world we live in: People will climb on top of each other to get to where they want to be. Honestly, let’s applaud the PR team at “The View” for their obvious diligent work over the years.
What does everyone else think?
The excitement is real.
Longtime fans of the show can’t wait to get their hands on what’s sure to be the juiciest read of the month. I can just about hear the book club ladies salivating.
Need a drink?
Let’s make it punny.
One, Two Punch
- 1 part pineapple juice
- 1 part Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
- 2 parts tequila
- Top off with a maraschino cherry.