Jenny McCarthy spills on ‘The View’ and its toxic work environment

Jenny McCarthy said her experience at “The View” was her worst job in 25 years of working in show business.

Photo: MingleMediaTVNetwork

Jenny McCarthy lasted a year on the daytime talk show “The View,” sitting alongside characters such as Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters. While her appearances and opinions (especially about vaccinations) were highly scrutinized, what was going on behind the scenes was next level.

“The View,” as it turns out, may have been a dysfunctional workplace full of office politics and cruel bullying.


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An excerpt from an upcoming book by Ramin Settodah about the show, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of “The View,” ran on Vulture, and featured an interview with McCarthy, who said the experience was her worst job in 25 years of working in show business.

McCarthy’s tenure got off to a rocky start.

One day on the “Hot Topics” segment of the show, McCarthy brought up the subject of who singer Katy Perry was dating. During a commercial break, Barbara Walters, looking upset, asked, “Who is that you’re talking about and why are you bringing her up?”

McCarthy reminded Walters that she’d interviewed Perry just last week.

Unfortunately, the reply only embarrassed Walters, who by then was having memory lapses. It was also her last year on the show.

“I felt everyone kicking me under the table,” McCarthy said about her gaffe. The co-hosts dealt with Walters by literally kicking each other under the table – “you either had the knee hold or the kick.”

McCarthy then tried to befriend Whoopi Goldberg – even visiting her house, but that relationship never bloomed, either. “The table is an interesting dynamic because it reminds me a little bit of Survivor,” McCarthy said. “There were allies, and there weren’t a lot of people to choose from.”

She decided to ally with Sherri Shepard because they were both mothers with young boys. This left a power vacuum, with Goldberg and Walters fighting each other, both wanting to be the moderator.

“It broke my heart when Barbara would shuffle to Whoopi and say, ‘Can I moderate, please?’ And Whoopi would say ‘no.’ ”

On air, McCarthy was getting increasingly shut out of the conversation.

“People don’t understand,” McCarthy said. “Whoopi can knock over anyone in a debate … 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.”

Meanwhile, Walters developed a fixation on what McCarthy was wearing on the show.

“Barbara would check out what I’m wearing. If she didn’t agree with it, or it didn’t complement her outfit, I had to change,” she said, gauging that in seven months she changed her outfit over 50 times at Walters request.

But you had to feel sorry for Walters, who at one point collapsed backstage and had to be taken to the hospital. During the very end of her last year on TV, she asked Goldberg, yet again, if she could moderate. Goldberg said, yet again, “No.”

“Every day I went home and I was miserable,” McCarthy said. “It really was the most miserable I’ve been on a job in my 25 years of show business.”


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.