For more than 20 years, The View has been an institution on daytime TV and has created more than its share of controversy. Featuring a rotating panel of women that has included huge names like Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, and Joy Behar, the show includes daily discussion on hot-button topics in news, politics, and the entertainment world. And with each co-host having her own viewpoint on these issues, drama inevitably ensues. But it’s not just on-air conversation that has caused some of the biggest feuds in the history of The View. Some of their longest-running fights have been sparked by something far more personal—and in several cases, the details didn’t publicly come to light until years later. Read on for everything we know about the most epic throw-downs the show has ever seen.
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Meghan McCain and Joy Behar’s explosive on-camera fight.
It goes without saying that the political climate in the U.S. has caused a lot of tension between people on opposite sides of the aisle, and matters came to a head between Meghan McCain and Joy Behar on a May 2021 episode of the show, when Behar called Republicans the “QAnon Party.”
At the time, the co-hosts were talking about the sex trafficking allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz, which McCain insisted the party was taking seriously. (Gaetz maintains his innocence.) Behar disagreed, and the discussion became a shouting match, with McCain saying, “You saying the Republican Party is trash is—I don’t care! It is irrelevant to me! Who cares? Who cares? You say it every single day! Every single day! Oh my God!”
Ultimately, Goldberg broke it up by sending the show to a commercial break.
McCain and Behar’s vaccine hesitancy argument
While we’re on the topic of McCain and Behar being at each other’s throats, here’s another biggie:
The same month they got into it over the GOP, the two argued about how the country should be dealing with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Behar said she was sure that politics were keeping certain people from getting vaccinated, but McCain insisted it wasn’t that simple.
“When you come on the show and just say, ‘Oh, we’re owning the libs.’ It’s just factually inaccurate about the demographics who are not getting the vaccine,” McCain said.
“A lot of these people that you’re talking about, Meghan, are watching Sean Hannity,” Behar retorted.
While they talked (and yelled) over each other, once again, Goldberg took the show to a commercial.
Behar’s fight with Elisabeth Hasselbeck about abortion rights
When former president Barack Obama brought up his pro-choice stance during a 2009 commencement speech at Notre Dame, it became a topic of discussion on The View—one that led to a very heated moment between Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Behar said that instead of calling the two positions “pro-life” and “pro-choice,” they should be referred to as “anti-choice” and “pro-choice.” This angered Hasselbeck, who tried to shoot back but was interrupted by Behar.
“It’s actually an insult to me to say that I’m not pro-life,” Hasselbeck said.
Eventually, Goldberg joined in, too, talking about the importance of abortion rights, and Hasselbeck was unable to get a word in edgewise.
Behar and Goldberg walk off the show
Given that Goldberg and Behar have never held back their liberal beliefs, it’s no surprise that they weren’t impressed by guest star Bill O’Reilly in 2010. The appearance started smoothly enough, but once the conversation turned to 9/11, it quickly derailed.
O’Reilly made a derogatory comment about Muslims, which earned him an explosive response from Goldberg and eventually led to both her and Behar walking off set. Immediately afterwards, Walters voiced her disappointment in them, though she did go on to condemn what O’Reilly had said.
“You have just seen what should not happen,” she said. “We should be able to have discussions without washing our hands and screaming and walking off stage.”
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Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell’s longstanding feud
Though Rosie O’Donnell said she was a big fan of Goldberg when she joined The View, it didn’t take long for her feelings about her coworker to change. During an appearance on Howard Stern‘s Sirius XM talk show in 2020, O’Donnell admitted that tension with Goldberg was one reason why she ultimately decided to leave the show. “Whoopi really didn’t like me,” she claimed.
“We were friends in the celebrity vernacular for a long time,” O’Donnell said. “And when I went to do that show, I went to her house and talked to her.”
O’Donnell also revealed that she believed Goldberg thought she was trying to steal her spotlight.
“She was mean to me on live TV,” she added. “When people say, ‘Well, what happened?’ I say, ‘Go back and watch [the episodes].’ It’s not like a mystery, watch the way it went down.”
McCain and Abby Huntsman’s behind-the-scenes “friend fight”
McCain has since explained that she and Huntsman are on good terms again now, but before the latter left the show in January 2020 to work on father Jon Huntsman Jr.‘s campaign for governor of Utah, the two did have a spat—though most of it happened behind the scenes. McCain also denied that she was the reason Huntsman left the show.
“We did get in a fight, which is a very small fight and a friend fight, and all friendships have ups and downs. It was sort of bizarre for me, and I think bizarre for her, to have—the fact that we got in one fight the two years that we worked together on the show, to be put under dissection in the media, to be weaponized,” McCain said during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live (via Deadline).
Jenny McCarthy accuses Barbara Walters of being mean
Jenny McCarthy was only on The View for one season and has said that working with Walters left her with a bad taste in her mouth. McCarthy spoke to Ramin Sedooteh for the backstage tell-all Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View and claimed that Walters had some sort of vendetta against her, which she believed stemmed from McCarthy’s thoroughly debunked claims about vaccines causing autism.
The younger star claimed that Walters would order her to change if she didn’t like her outfit and that she eventually became so afraid of the show’s co-creator that she would hide when she heard Walters coming.
McCarthy calls Goldberg “controlling”
In the same book, McCarthy also took the opportunity to air her true feelings about Goldberg. She claimed that Goldberg has an “addiction to controlling” people and that she was locked in a power struggle with Walters when the latter was still on the show.
“It broke my heart when Barbara would shuffle to Whoopi and say, ‘Can I moderate, please?’ And Whoopi would say no,” McCarthy says in the book, via People. “People don’t understand. Whoopi can knock over anyone in a debate. Her voice is strong not only in meaning but also in sound. I was able to get a point out in three words—like ‘I don’t agree’—and that’s all I would be able to say. I would be stepped on or interrupted.”
Walters and Star Jones don’t see eye-to-eye about weight-loss surgery
In 2003, Star Jones had a gastric bypass, but when she returned to work, she didn’t want viewers to know—at least, not according to Walters. While talking to Oprah Winfrey in 2008, Walters opened up about the situation and how uncomfortable she was with not telling the audience the truth.
“We thought it would be helpful for people to see her losing and losing and losing weight, they should understand the dangers and the good things and so forth,” she said, according to the New York Post. “Then she decided she would tell nobody, and we had to then lie on the set every day.”
Years later, Jones told Today that she’d kept her surgery a secret because she was worried she was going to fail.
“I’m not sure I thought I would be successful at it, to be honest with you,” Jones said on the show in 2012. “I thought I’d gain the weight back. I had never been successful at losing weight before. I needed to forgive myself for being such a smart girl and so stupid when it came to something like my health.”
O’Donnell and Hasselbeck’s falling out
Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck quickly became friends during the time they were both on The View, but all of that changed when they got into an on-camera fight about the Iraq War in a 2007 episode of the show.
O’Donnell’s anger was sparked when Hasselbeck said that America had enemies in Iraq, which O’Donnell quickly called her out on, reminding her that Iraq had not attacked the US. Things got so heated that the show didn’t even go to commercial when the time came.
“I asked you if you believed what the Republicans were saying, and you said nothing. That’s cowardly,” O’Donnell said.
“Do not call me a coward because, number one, I sit there every single day and open my heart to tell people exactly what I believe,” Hasselbeck shot back.
RELATED: Rosie O’Donnell Said She Had a Crush on This The View Co-Host.
Behar slams McCarthy’s vaccine rhetoric
Behar and McCarthy weren’t ever co-hosts on The View at the same time, but Behar made her feelings about McCarthy public anyway. During a 2015 appearance on Morning Joe, Behar joked that McCarthy, who has been one of the loudest voices against having children vaccinated against diseases, should run for president, since many Republican candidates had been open about their anti-vaxx stances.
“This is this neanderthal thinking on the right that is really scary and dangerous,” Behar said at the time, via The Wrap. “I mean, they’re going to kill us.”
O’Donnell accusing Walters of not defending her against Donald Trump
Long before Donald Trump was president, he was one of the causes of a spat between the women of The View. Going all the way back to 2006, O’Donnell criticized the way Trump handled a Miss USA scandal. Winner Tara Conner had been caught drinking and using drugs underage, and Trump (who owned the pageant) hosted a press conference announcing that he would let her keep her title if she went to rehab—an act O’Donnell said she could see right through.
“Listen, this guy annoys me on a multitude of levels,” she said on the show. “He’s the moral authority? Left the first wife, had an affair. Left the second wife, had an affair. Had kids both times. But he’s the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America?”
Later, Trump called producer Bill Geddie and threatened to sue the show over comments O’Donnell made about his finances, leading Walters to talk to Trump personally, later smoothing things over with a statement on-air. But O’Donnell told Sedooteh in Ladies Who Punch (via Vanity Fair) that she was hurt that Walters hadn’t defended her.
“I definitely yelled. I said how disappointed I was and how shocked and hurt I was that she wouldn’t stand up for me. I felt very betrayed about her going behind my back and speaking to Donald Trump in Trumpian language,” she said.
Behar and McCain’s blowup about George H.W. Bush
During a segment honoring George H.W. Bush following his death, Behar began talking about how Trump, who was the president at the time, seemed determined to undo the work that Bush and Obama had done to combat climate change. McCain wasn’t pleased and told Behar she didn’t want to talk about Trump and wasn’t interested in her views on the environment.
“I don’t care what you’re interested in. I’m talking! D*** it!” Behar shot back, to which McCain responded, “Well, I don’t care what you’re interested in either, Joy!”
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