‘The View’: How Sherri Shepherd ‘Impressed’ Barbara Walters After the On-Air Battle Between Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Sherri Shepherd is set to launch her new daytime talk show, Sherri, this fall now that The Wendy Williams Show is coming to an end. The 30 Rock alum is bringing her experience from her co-hosting gig on The View from 2007 to 2014. Shepherd was a guest co-host at the “Hot Topics” table during a legendary brawl between Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck in 2007 and her actions after the high-profile blowup earned her some favor with show creator Barbara Walters.
Sherri Shepherd was vying for a permanent seat on ‘The View’
Shepherd was in the running for a chair of her own at The View table in 2007 and was apparently in competition with comedian Kathy Griffin. They were both assigned days to serve as guest co-hosts on the show and Shepherd noted her good fortune of being present for the now-famous fight between Hasselbeck and O’Donnell.
“What cemented me coming on was Rosie O’Donnell got into it with Elisabeth Hasselbeck,” Shepherd told Sunny Hostin on the “Behind the Table” podcast in 2021, according to ABC News. “The permanent co-host position was between Kathy Griffin or [me]. This is how God be moving. They gave Kathy Griffin the Friday, and they gave me Thursday. So we each had a day and all of the stuff happened on Thursday.”
The on-air uproar began with co-host Joy Behar criticizing then-President George W. Bush. The conversation snowballed into a shouting match between O’Donnell and Hasselbeck over the Iraq war. At one point, Behar and Shepherd walked away from the table and tempers eventually settled down. The argument between the two TV personalities made headlines and O’Donnell left the show a month later.
Sherri Shepherd kept quiet about ‘The View’ fight
Shepherd recalled trying to reason with her co-hosts after the emotional feud.
“After it ended, I said, ‘Elisabeth… You’ve got to calm down,” Shepherd told Ramin Setoodah in his book, Ladies Who Punch. “Then I was with Rosie. She said, ‘I can’t take this. I’m so tired of this.’ It was like watching your parents fight.”
It didn’t take long for news outlets to start contacting Shepherd for some inside details on the disastrous dispute, but the Brian Banks star kept mum.
“When I left, everybody in the world called me,” Shepherd remarked. “They wanted to know if they could fly me out to talk about it. I said, ‘It’s none of my business’. And it would be a disservice, because I didn’t know the behind the scenes.”
Barbara Walters appreciated Sherri Shepherd’s refusal to spill secrets
Apparently, Griffin thought she could win marks with viewers by stirring the pot and continued to reference the O’Donnell-Hasselbeck spat when she resumed her guest seat.
“When Kathy came on the next day, she kept trying to go there and make jokes,” Shepherd shared. “They were really uncomfortable. They knew I could keep my mouth shut.”
Setoodah noted that Shepherd’s discretion won over Walters and likely earned her the permanent co-hosting gig.
“I think that impressed Barbara Walters and [then executive producer] Bill Geddie,” Shepherd said. “So I got the job of the co-host.”