Rosie O’Donnell Says Elisabeth Hasselbeck Is “A Little Gay”

Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck – forever connected through a split-screen televised conflict  – will always be remembered for their debate on The View. It was one that grew quite heated, and, for some “unexplainable” reason (creators were living for the drama), never cut to a commercial break.

Rosie O'Donnell
Rosie O’Donnell | Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images

The political fight (as they always are on The View) focused on Bush and US involvement in Iraq. The argument pitted right-winged conservatist Elisabeth Hasselbeck up against left-winged Rosie O’Donnell. While it started out a bit tense from the start, the argument left viewers with bated breath as a split-screen presentation removed hosts Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd from the presentation altogether.

Though occuring back in 2007, this episode is still one of the most remembered and most referenced episodes to date. Both Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck are often asked to comment on the event, as well as the standings they are currently in with one another. However, while things might have finally been settling down, it looks like Rosie may be in the hot seat with Hasselbeck soon enough.

Rosie O’Donnell cites Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s athletic past as evidence that she must be “a little gay”

In his new book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View,’ Ramin Setoodeh reveals what Rosie O’Donnell had to say about her relationship with Elisabeth Hassleback.

According to Decider, Rosie, speaking on behalf of her relationship with Hasselbeck told Setoodeh:

“I’m the senior. She’s the freshman. I’ve got a really good player on the freshman team, but I have to teach her how to loosen up. I think there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts. She was the MVP of a Division 1 softball team for two years that won the finals. There are not many, in my life, girls with such athletic talent on sports teams that are traditionally male that aren’t at least a little bit gay.”


Knowing Rosie O’Donnell, it’s likely that her words were uttered in a very humorous fashion, as she is a comedian. She probably did not intend harm, but the statement does imply, joking or not, that female athletes are inherently a little more likely to be gay.

Given Rosie O’Donnell’s political views and liberal mindset, these statements seem a bit out of character. Whether in jest or not, claiming that a straight woman must be a little gay due to an athletic past is not an acceptable comment (nor can it be excused merely because it was made at the expense of an individual who’s not part a marginalized community when it comes to sexual orientation).

Rosie O’Donnell discusses her small crush on Elisabeth Hasselbeck

According to Setoodeh, O’Donnell went on to reveal that she had a small crush on Hasselbeck; however, she explains that it wasn’t a sexual crush. She says she wanted to “elevate” Hasselbeck and help grow her career.

Rosie O’Donnell has stated several times that she initially intended to support Hasselbeck and show her the path to success; however, it appears that the sequence of events did not lead to a Mr. Miyagi – Daniel LaRusso dynamic.

Rosie O’Donnell, coming under fire for her generalizing and stereotypical comments, may soon find herself back in the midst of the conflict she’s been trying to escape for the last decade.