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The View Has Been On Air For 22 Years And The Drama Has Hardly Ever Been Scarce: Here Are Some Of The Biggest Feuds

On Tuesday morning, Abby Huntsman, one of the latest conservative voices on The View, announced she was leaving the long-running ABC daytime show to help run her father Jon Huntsman Jr.’s campaign for Utah governor. Of course, this was only the ‘official reason’. In its nearly 22 years on air, the show has seen some extremely tense moments —read on to find out about a few of them. 

Today, I’m saying goodbye,” Huntsman said of going to work with her dad, the Republican politician and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia. 

“It’s not often in life that you get these moments to go fight for something that you are so passionate about.” Of course, there’s always an official explanation and a rumored-to-be-more-real one. In this case, there were reports, including one from CNN Business, claiming Huntsman was fleeing the show’s “toxic culture” 

The View has gone from coffee klatch to political roundtable and back again in since it debuted in 1997.

These days, it’s been coined “the most important political TV show in America”—a must-stop on the presidential candidates’ press tour. Losing Huntsman also means the loss of a vocal conservative in that political crossfire—a host who actually wanted to welcome recent guest Donald Trump Jr. But one constant on the show is, well, the drama. The Huntsman-McCain conflict is only the latest in a long line of View feuds, blowups, and scandalous exits in the show’s 23-season history. 

Ahead, a look at the high (low?) lights, in chronological order:

Barbara Walters versus Debbie Matenopoulos

When Walters launched The View in 1997, she cast/hired 22-year-old Matenopoulos. Debbie reportedly drew Walters’s ire when she couldn’t quite hold her own among the original five, including Joy Behar, Star Jones, and Meredith Vieira. Matenopoulos was frequently mocked on Saturday Night Live for being ditzy. Plus, she apparently partied too much for the boss’s taste. “After Debbie had gotten written up in ‘Page Six’ for taking her top off at Hogs & Heifers, Barbara counseled her on not tarnishing her name as a public figure.” Matenopoulos was fired in 1999 and replaced by hard-hitting journalist Lisa Ling.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck versus Rosie O’Donnell

O’Donnell only appeared for two brief stints on The View, but still managed to lock horns with ex-Survivor contestant Elisabeth Hasselbeck in a viral nearly 10-minute-long on-air debate about the Iraq War in 2007. (O’Donnell had pressed Hasselbeck to back her up that she had never equated American troops with “terrorists”; Hasselbeck balked.) “Here’s how it gets spun in the media: ‘Rosie, big, fat, lesbian, loud Rosie, attacks innocent, pure, Christian Elisabeth,’” O’Donnell later said. She left the show that year: “The day it happened, I was definitely crying,” O’Donnell told Variety

Whoopi Goldberg versus Rosie O’Donnell

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O’Donnell and Goldberg clashed in 2009, when O’Donnell expressed her disagreement with Goldberg’s assertion that director Roman Polanski hadn’t committed “rape rape,” despite having pled guilty to statutorily raping then-13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1979. Goldberg supposedly sent O’Donnell an “angry letter,” and O’Donnell says she responded diplomatically, writing her own letter apologizing for any hurt feelings.

But when O’Donnell returned to The View in 2014 and offered up contributions to the daytime talk show — like starting the morning meeting a half-hour earlier and covering the Bill Cosby rape allegations — Goldberg shut down her ideas, she claimed. And the tension played out on television, too.

Barbara Walters versus Jenny McCarthy

Walters tapped McCarthy to join The View in 2013, a year before Walters herself left the show. According to McCarthy, this made for a power struggle. “Imagine a woman like Barbara Walters,” McCarthy said in Ladies Who Punch. “It’s her last year, and she doesn’t want to leave…. And I’m the new bitch there.” The two reportedly fought over who would moderate debates, and also sanitary products, with Walters reportedly demanding McCarthy change her outfits and, once, chastising her over a tampon left in a toilet (one McCarthy says was not hers).

Joy Behar versus Meghan McCain

The honor of splashiest feud in the modern era of The View goes to stalwart Behar and Meghan McCain. In 2018, they got into it over Trump once again: “I really come here every day open-minded, just trying to explain it, and it’s not a fun job for me every day,” McCain said. When Behar made a pitying “aww” sound, McCain snapped: “Oh, don’t feel bad for me, bitch, I’m paid to do this, okay?” After a little more back and forth, Whoopi Goldberg threw to a commercial break: “I just need everybody to take a beat.”

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