The new book on The View is living up to its title, and it hasn’t even been released yet.
Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, written by Variety reporter Ramin Setoodeh, has put many past and a couple of current hosts from the ABC talk show back in the spotlight.
Here are some of the juiciest claims in its pages:
McCarthy told the author of the book that working with Walters wasn’t exactly easy.
“You know the movie Mommie Dearest? I remember as a child watching that movie and going, ‘Holy cow!’ I’ve never seen a woman yell like that before until I worked with Barbara Walters.”
McCarthy accused her former boss of constantly evaluating her wardrobe, publicly accusing her of flushing a tampon and generally making it her most memorable year in show business. However, she said some of the credit goes to the power struggle that went on between Walters and Goldberg over who would moderate each show.
O’Donnell shared the table with Hasselbeck and admitted that she’d had romantic feelings for her co-star. More controversial was her comment that, “there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts.”
Hasselbeck took issue with the idea that she’d had a crush on her co-star and addressed the subject during an appearance on, of course, The View, while promoting her new book, Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith and Freedom.
“I think what she said was reckless, untrue and not only insulting, disturbing, when it comes to how she felt about somebody in the workplace,” Hasselbeck said. “If you replace what Rosie said and you take her name out and you put in Ruben or Robert, then we would be in a situation where you would see the objectification of a woman in the workplace. And that’s disturbing because where we may be really against that when it comes from a man to a woman, you don’t get a pass because you’re a lesbian objectifying a woman in the workplace. You just don’t.”
Shepherd was broke and didn’t know how much she should ask for when she was offered a hosting gig on the talker in 2007, so O’Donnell, who had already left the show, told her how much the other women were earning. Shepherd said the original offer was “hugely, grossly low.”
“Rosie was amazing,” Shepherd said. “She said to me, ‘This is what I made. this is what Joy makes, this is what Elisabeth makes.’ They had offered me a salary that was lower than Elisabeth. Rosie said, ‘You’re an established actress. Go back and counter with this amount!’ They came up.”
On a 2006 episode of the show, the hosts were discussing the morning-after pill, when the politically conservative Hasselbeck said, “I believe that life begins at the moment of conception.”
And then Walters stopped her.
During a commercial, Hasselbeck ranted about what had happened to co-host Joy Behar. “What the f**k! I don’t even swear. She has me swearing. This woman is driving me nuts,” Hasselbeck is quoted as saying. “I’m not going back. I can’t do the show like this. She just reprimanded me, and she knew exactly what she was doing. Goodbye! I’m off. Read about that in the New York f ***king Post!”
Of course, Hasselbeck did return as a co-host, although she left the show for good in 2013.
Jones shared the news that she’d had the operation in 2007, but it was only after the information had hit the gossip columns. Jones suspected it was her co-stars Walters and Behar who tattled, according to the book.
Jones said in response to the author stating this, “My time at The View was one of the great opportunities of my lifetime. Of course there were conflicts over the years, however I will forever consider Barbara Walters (along with my dear friend, the late Johnny Cochran) to be one of my two most influential mentors. The opportunity to sit beside her 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.”
“Whoopi Goldberg was as mean as anyone has ever been on television to me, personally — while I was sitting there,” O’Donnell says in an excerpt from the book. “Worse than Fox News. The worst experience I’ve ever had on live television was interacting with her.”
O’Donnell accused Goldberg of complaining about her to guests of the show and shutting down her ideas. She said she found it all so stressful that her doctor was concerned for her health.
Director Mark Gentile, who filed multiple complaints against O’Donnell with the company’s human resources department, told Setoodeh that he found her to be “medically insane.”
“The best talent she has is making you believe she’s normal,” Gentile said. “She was like Pol Pot in Cambodia,” he said of the dictator who presided over a genocide. “She was going to go through the country and she was going to kill everybody and have it her way.”
Another crew member, executive producer Bill Geddie, reportedly took a leave of absence from the show in order to distance himself from her.
The book says that even Walters had a tough relationship with O’Donnell, and she eventually told the network that she and Geddie would leave the show if O’Donnell didn’t.
Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View is out April 2; pre-order it at Amazon.
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