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There have always been two faces at The View: one presented by the show’s producers and another happening behind the scenes. The firing of Elisabeth Hasselbeck offers the clearest example of the phenomenon.

On the air, Barbara Walters told the audience she and ABC had “no plans” for Hasselbeck to leave the show. The things is, that announcement came after they’d forced Hasselbeck off The View.

That tradition has apparently continued. On January 13 Abby Huntsman announced she’d be the latest co-host to depart the show. Following Huntsman’s surprise announcement she was quitting, reports emerged that the show’s toxic work culture contributed to her decision.

Naturally, producers at The View didn’t want that narrative taking over. According to a Daily Beast report, producers asked Huntsman to tell viewers on the air that the atmosphere wasn’t as bad as reports indicated. But Huntsman took the advice of Whoopi Goldberg and declined to do so.

ABC reportedly asked Huntsman to say ‘The View’ wasn’t a bad place to work

THE VIEW – Abby Huntsman listens to Whoopi Goldberg make a point. | Heidi Gutman/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

For the better part of a year, The View has balanced heated (at times, overheated) on-air debates with statements from co-hosts and producers saying how much everyone gets along. Not everyone has been convinced.

All the while, tabloid stories about Meghan McCain feeling like “a caged animal” who’s being “shunned” by co-hosts presented an alternate version of the situation. With Huntsman’s departure, interested parties got more of the same.

While Huntsman said she was leaving even though she loved her co-workers, The Daily Mail and Page Six reported Huntsman felt overwhelmed by the toxicity behind the scenes. Huntsman’s frustrations included her interactions with McCain, with whom she’d fought in recent months.

According the the Daily Beast report, decision-makers at The View asked Huntsman to deny these reports a day after announcing her departure. However, Huntsman took Whoopi’s advice and let her original remarks stand. In short, Huntsman wouldn’t do the show’s dirty work.

Whoopi argued that Huntsman’s denial would only add to tabloid gossip

THE VIEW – Jane Fonda is a guest today Tuesday, November 5, 2019. | Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images

After 12 years at The View, Whoopi qualifies as an expert at calming tabloid stories. In general, Whoopi tries to avoid further engagement. (Even after bowling over McCain on the air in December 2019, Whoopi decided a quick mention the following day would settle the issue.)

According to the Daily Beast, her advice to Huntsman followed this pattern. Whoopi reportedly said Huntsman had already made her peace and didn’t need to go any further. Huntsman did just that, lending credence to the damning tabloid reports.

View fans might rightfully wonder who the show’s producers hope to fool with such statements. For starters, you could add anyone considering a job on the show to the list. Anyone reading those reports would think twice about joining the show at such a tense time.

Since Huntsman wouldn’t play ball, the folks in charge at The View will have to do the work themselves. With McCain’s friend leaving January 17, the clock has already begun ticking.

Also seeWhy Whoopi Didn’t Feel the Need to Apologize to Meghan McCain After ‘The View’ Dust-up