This Former Co-Host of ‘The View’ Says She Was Told To ‘Act Republican’
Fans of ABC’s The View are wondering who will replace the seat left vacant by co-host Abby Huntsman. With her recent departure, viewers are expecting a panelist with the same conservative political leanings as Huntsman in order to level the liberal playing field and backup outspoken Republican Meghan McCain.
This former co-host revealed that the show strived to represent a balanced ‘view’ on social and political topics, to the point where The View creator Barbara Walters asked her to take on a certain political persona.
Joining ‘The View’
Actress and reality star Jenny McCarthy has a variety of credits to her name, including Playboy model, television and film actress, and host of radio and TV shows. Currently at the judging table on Fox Network’s The Masked Singer, McCarthy is enjoying the show’s success as well as her her marriage to singer/actor Donny Wahlberg, whom she wed in 2014.
McCarthy was considered for The View in 2013. Wanting to stretch herself professionally in a more serious venue, she decided to try out for the daytime talk show. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘I want to do something that has a little more class to it. And spread my wings a little bit,” she said, according to Vulture. “I thought to myself, ‘That’s where I’m going next.’”
After being invited by executive producer Bill Geddie to audition for Season 17, McCarthy became the frontrunner. “I went on and it went great, and I went on again,” McCarthy said. “They said, ‘You’re in the top consideration to be a co-host.’”
Despite an offer for her own talk show with CBS and substantial competition from other applicants including Brooke Shields and Ali Wentworth, McCarthy was offered the seat at the table and she accepted.
“Jenny brings us intelligence as well as warmth and humor,” Walters said in 2013 before McCarthy joined the show, according to USA Today. “She can be serious and outrageous. She has connected with our audience and offers a fresh point of view. Jenny will be a great addition to the show as we usher in an exciting new chapter for The View.”
Bringing a hip and humorous vibe to the show, McCarthy fit perfectly with the program’s plan to portray a lighter tone. Letting go of co-hosts Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, producers at The View were looking to go in a new direction with Season 17.
“How Bill [Geddie] sold it to me is that they actually let go of Joy and Elisabeth because they wanted to get rid of politics,” McCarthy said. “It was polarizing. That’s the word he kept using: It was very polarizing to the audience. We want pop culture, irreverent, fun, sassy… I checked all those boxes for him.”
Yet once she started the show, McCarthy seemed to get mixed signals. “They initially had me come on to be the pop-culture girl because they wanted to change it,” McCarthy told Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen in December 2018. “And then Barbara didn’t know who anybody was, pop culture-wise.”
McCarthy went on to reveal that she soon received an odd request to portray a certain political stance. “And then they came in my dressing room and said, ‘Can you just act Republican so we have another point of view?'” the reality star recalled. “And I said, ‘How do I act Republican?’”
Shout out to current conservative
The Masked Singer co-host has gone public with stories on Walters during her time, revealing how demanding the legendary news woman could be as a boss.
“You know the movie Mommie Dearest? I remember as a child watching that movie and going, ‘Holy cow!’” McCarthy said in the Vulture interview. “I’ve never seen a woman yell like that before until I worked with Barbara Walters.”
When speaking to Cohen in 2018, McCarthy praised how McCain is standing her ground on the daytime talk show as the resident Republican. “I love her on The View,” McCarthy said. “They needed an opposite point of view – in order to be The View you need different sides.”