Joy Behar Said This Interview Changed the Tone of ‘The View’
ABC’s The View is currently going through yet another change with the recent departure of co-host Abby Huntsman. The current team of Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Meghan McCain seems to be a lock for now, especially with the 2020 Presidential election around the corner.
Except for a brief hiatus during Seasons 17 and 18, Behar has been at the infamous talk show table since the program launched in 1997. Behar remembers when the show took a turn from the entertainment-focused foundation to a more serious, politically-versed venue that The New York Times recently called “the most important political TV show in America.”
Empty seat to fill
With Huntsman now gone from the table, the search is on for her replacement. Though rumors of resentment and discord among the panelists have been swirling for quite some time, Behar chalks it up to just another day at the office.
“We kind of know that, sometimes one of us goes over the line. I won’t say what specifically but sometimes things go over the line that then have to be pulled back,” she told Good Housekeeping in December 2018. “Any conversation that talks about politics or religion is going to go off the rails. It would be very unrealistic to think that there would be no acrimony, disagreements, and maybe even hurt feelings sometimes. That’s the way it is.”
Despite the tensions that are sometimes played out in front of the camera, Behar sees no behind-the-scenes drama. “We work together. A lot of people like to make it into a big romantic movie … or that we’re always bonded at the hip,” she said. “Sometimes we’re mad at each other, sometimes we’re not. Sometimes we like each other, sometimes we don’t — just like girlfriends.”
A turning point
Behar noted a specific shift in the show’s tenor after one particular interview. In 2010, former Fox News political commentator Bill O’Reilly was a guest on The View. Though O’Reilly had a huge following, Behar was not a fan and exited the table with Goldberg during the sit down due to his dismissive manner.
“[Bill was] very difficult, very adamant to be ploughing through what you were saying, which is why I had to walk off,” she said of O’Reilly. “He was just going in a talk. It was as if he was on his own Fox show. I was not going to have it.”
In Behar’s opinion, taking that action is what gave the show more substantial credibility. “When we [she and Whoopi] walked off the set after O’Reilly, I think people saw that it was a serious show, and that we’re not just fluffy and talking about stupid things all day long,” she said.
Reasons for returning
When Behar left The View in 2013, reasons for her departure were not made public. “Somebody wanted me gone. It was not 100 percent my choice,” she told People in 2017. “The way I heard it, and I don’t know what’s true because you never know, they got rid of a Republican so they wanted to get rid of a Democrat. That’s not the first time I’ve been fired for my politics. So I wasn’t shocked at that analysis.”
Behar was asked to return to her seat at the table, which she did in 2015. Her decision to resume her former job was swayed by the promise of a bigger paycheck and the opportunity to cover a monumental presidential election. “I went back to do politics. “They told me, ‘It’s going to be smart, and we’re going to pay you more money.’”
Watch ABC’s The View weekday mornings!