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The View is notorious for its combative nature, sometimes making it the most volatile show on television. While many of the co-hosts on the show understand what they're getting into and stick along for the ride, others decide the negativity isn't worth a seat on the stage. Recently, a former co-host got candid about why she left the show and how her life has changed since removing herself from the situation. Read on to see why this star doesn't regret quitting The View.
Abby Huntsman said leaving The View was "the best decision."
Former The View co-host Abby Huntsman left in Jan. 2020 after just over a year on the show. In a June 2 interview with People, Huntsman said her choice to leave was "the best decision I could have made for my life, for my mental health, for my happiness, for my family." She added that quitting changed her whole perspective, and she immediately felt better.
"When I walked out those doors for the first time, I could hear the birds chirping in the city, in Central Park, and I looked up in the sky, and I thought, 'This is the best thing I did for myself.' Because I can see the world, I can hear the world, I'm more present," Huntsman said. The former co-host recalled being told, "No one quits their dream job in television," but she felt that in many ways, the gig wasn't what she'd been hoping for.
Huntsman tried to tell the executives of the struggles on the show.
Following Huntsman's departure, Ramin Setoodeh published the book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, which detailed the drama that went on behind the scenes of the show. According to an excerpt from the book shared by Us Weekly, "Abby, who had spent just over a year on The View, reached her decision after multiple conversations with ABC executives about the toxicity at the root of the show. When they didn't respond to her, she told them that she'd like to move on, according to sources with knowledge of those conversations. Abby didn't think that anyone at ABC was looking out for her." As Setoodeh reported, Huntsman wasn't a fan of the lack of management, and other former employees felt similarly.
Huntsman told People that she brought these issues to the ABC executives' attention. "As anyone should when they go quit a job, you go sit down with the executives, and you tell them why," Huntsman said. "And I spoke to them before that as well, about concerns that I've had on the show and environment and things like that." When she left, she told the higher-ups that she hoped the things they discussed would change.
The star felt "trapped" in the cycle of drama that came with the show.
Each episode of The View leaves behind a trail of headlines and video clips about the hosts' heated debates on air. Huntsman said the endless cycle of drama took a toll. "There are so many articles that you're like, half of that's not even true," she explained. Part of her reason for leaving was to shield her family. "I don't want my kids reading things about me growing up that are just so far from reality," she continued. "But you feel trapped in that, and there's no way out."
Now that Huntsman has distance from the show, she said she's relieved to not have to be scrolling Twitter every morning thinking about the next "extreme comment" she has to make. And she doesn't miss the drama at all. "I can at least control what's in my home right now," Huntsman said, "and I'm not living every day thinking, 'What's this person going to write next?'"
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Although she has her grievances with the show, Huntsman made lasting connections while there.
"I'll have friends there for the rest of my life. I'll have even some mentors there that I'll keep for a long, long time. So I still feel so lucky to have had that opportunity," Huntsman said. The former co-host said she still keeps in touch with a handful of people from the show, including Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, and Sunny Hostin.
Meghan McCain and Huntsman caught a lot of media attention toward the end of Huntsman's run on the show after butting heads. While on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in Jan. 2020, McCain explained that it was "a very small fight and a friend fight, and all friendships have ups and downs." McCain added that having Huntsman leave the show was challenging for her. "This has been a really, really rough few weeks for me because I didn't want her to go, selfishly, because I thought she was an amazing co-host and just having a friend there has been lovely," she said. Of their friendship, Huntsman told People, "Our families have always been close, and we always will be, and I'm so thrilled that she's a mom. I think she's a totally different person as well after becoming a mom, as we all are."