Barbara Walters Reportedly Threatened To Leave ‘The View’ If Rosie O’Donnell Wasn’t Fired!
Rosie O’Donnell caused so much friction during her first stint on The View, she almost cost the program its HBIC.
Yet another load of dirty laundry has been unloaded from Ramin Setoodeh’s forthcoming book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View: this particular excerpt focuses on the strained relationship between the comedienne and the show’s creator, Barbara Walters.
Nearly ten years after launching the ABC morning program in 1997, the renowned journalist invited Rosie to join the panel in 2006 after Star Jones got fired. The former host of the Rosie O’Donnell Show was expected to deliver hot takes and hot quips alike.
But, by the next year, Rosie apparently sparked a bit too many fires for Babs’ liking.
Not only did the Flintstones actress cause The View to gain some negative attention from the likes of Kelly Ripa and Donald Trump, she also reportedly clashed with then-executive producer Bill Geddie — bringing on screen and off screen drama that Walters apparently felt was dragging her show down.
So, to save her show, and her reputation as a respected journalist, Babs wanted O’Donnell’s resignation — and, to get it, she gave producers quite the ultimatum: either fire the newbie or she would walk out.
According to Ladies Who Punch, Walters told ABC Daytime President Brian Frons in 2007 over dinner at Spago in Beverly Hills:
“If you re-sign Rosie to this show, Bill and I are going to quit.”
You tell em, Babs!
Needless to say, the OG got her wish. O’Donnell didn’t return for the following season, and only re-appeared on the panel briefly in 2014 — after Walters had left the show.
The legendary news anchor seemed to have made the right call, based on Rosie’s own chapter in the book. In the already released excerpt, the 57-year-old admitted she was trying to take the show’s reigns from Walters and Geddie at the time, and had even attempted to woo Elisabeth Hasslebeck into her corner.
But Rosie’s plan blew up in her face, and it’s safe to say her relationship with Walters was never repaired.
Shortly after leaving the show, Rosie went on to write a memoir, titled Celebrity Detox (The Fame Game), in which she called out her former cohost and recommended that the then 77-year-old should retire.
Walters wasn’t a fan of this, and had ABC leak her mention in Celebrity Detox to the New York Post, where she called the memoir a “sad book, but I prefer to focus on the happier times we had and the happier times we hope to have in the future.”
But Babs’ real knockout punch came from asking the outlet to include a psychologist evaluation of Rosie’s mental health when covering her memoir.
The result wasn’t pretty: the article came out in September 2007 with a psychiatrist calling Rosie “full of rage” and suggesting she “dishes out anger mostly to women because of deep-seated abandonment issues over her mother’s death.”
Sounds like just about everyone on this show was left bruised and battered by the end of it.
[Image via WENN]