‘The View’: Why Abby Huntsman Said Leaving the Show Was Best ‘For My Life, For My Mental Health’
Abby Huntsman co-hosted The View in season 22 with Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Meghan McCain. Huntsman came from news and a background in politics with stints on MSNBC and Fox News, yet decided to exit the daytime talk show in January 2020 to join her father’s campaign for governor. While rumors swirled that Huntsman was leaving due to the frequent drama on the air and behind the scenes, The View alum considered her departure a positive step in all aspects of her life.
Abby Huntsman’s said ‘The View’ wasn’t the ‘dream job’ she expected
The View is known for its heated debates at the “Hot Topics” table, which sometimes continue when the cameras stop rolling. Huntsman was a panelist on the daytime talk show just as the 2020 presidential election was gearing up and was a daily topic amongst the co-hosts. With Huntsman and McCain as the resident Republicans at the table, they were often outnumbered by their more liberal co-hosts and would sometimes receive backlash from viewers. Huntsman knew she needed to make a change.
“I don’t talk much about that time, and I won’t, but the decision that I made was probably the best decision I could have made for my life, for my mental health, for my happiness, for my family,” she told People. “I’ve been in the news industry for the last 10 years working at so many different places, but it was a decision that I felt in my gut, actually, for quite some time about making, much longer than people probably realize.”
While some saw Huntsman’s ABC gig as a coveted career spot, The View alum revealed the high-visibility role wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
“When I made the decision, I remember walking out those doors after they told me, ‘No one quits their dream job in television,'” she recalled. “I said, ‘Well, this isn’t the dream job that I was hoping, in many ways, that it was.'”
‘The View’ alum called the show ‘fiery’ at times
After her exit from The View, Huntsman described the political divisiveness she experienced on the show and from its fan base.
“I enjoyed having that center-right voice, but at the same time, everything is to extremes today,” Huntsman told Deseret News in January 2020. “You’ve got the extreme right and extreme left. … We are not talking to each other anymore. We are talking right past one another, and if you disagree, it’s not that’s a different idea, it’s that you’re just stupid and you don’t understand.”
The former Fox news personality admitted to growing tired of the many on-air arguments, explaining that she wanted to do more than debate as a daytime talk show co-host.
“The show is made is for drama,” the former panelist of The View said. “It did get fiery and that will continue. Honestly, it is a lot to sit there and have to do that every day. Some people are just not naturally made to argue all day long, but I am not. I did grow so much, and I do love to disagree. I think it’s fun to have those moments, but sometimes it can get tough.”
Abby Huntsman says the past year has brought her ‘a lot of healing’
The mom of three vividly remembered leaving ABC after her last day on The View, and immediately knew she made the right choice.
“When I walked out those doors for the first time, I could hear the birds chirping in the city, in Central Park,” Huntsman remarked. “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.”
Though she was confident in her decision, The View alum did her share of second guessing her choices. In the long run, she’s at peace with her new path and is glad to no longer be a topic in the tabloids.
“There’s so many articles that you’re like, half of that’s not even true,” Huntsman said. “And that was part of the reason in my decision: I don’t want my kids reading things about me growing up that are just so far from reality. But you feel trapped in that, and there’s no way out. So I don’t miss that at all. I can at least control what’s in my home right now, and I’m not living every day thinking, what’s this person going to write next?”