‘The View’ Hosts’ Worst On-Air Fights and Most Awkward Moments Ever
"I had this idea for a show: different women, different points of view; maybe a little too different," Barbara Walters famously remarked at the top of each episode of The View in the daytime talk show's earlier seasons.
Little did she know just how different — and, years later, just how hostile — those views would become.
Since 1997, and with 30 Emmys to its name, the ABC show has aimed to supply TV viewers with conflicting perspectives among high-profile women. Republicans and democrats, atheists and the God-fearing, gun-toters and pacifists: they've all had time and a network's backing to plead their cases. And the results have been — sometimes — consequently chaotic; screaming matches, walk-outs and tears have all become standard facets of View viewing.
These days, Meghan McCain is the likeliest panelist to make headlines with fiery, right-leaning takes on elections, immigrants' rights and impeachment trial hot takes. But she's certainly not the first woman to make waves with her spot on the show. The famous Rosie O'Donnell v. Elisabeth Hasselbeck showdown of 2007? That Raven-Symone vs. Candace Cameron Bure wedding cake controversy? These and many other spats have made for a truly unforgettable 23 years of debate. (And, of course, who could forget the pioneering era of Star Jones?)
Check out the 25 worst on-air fights and awkward moments The View has offered viewers so far, and if there are any truly emblematic scuffles we've missed, be sure to leave them in the comments.
Elisabeth, Rosie and Joy Argue About Iraq (2007)
The United States' invasion of the Middle East did not sit well with Rosie, but the right-wing Elisabeth wasn't as perturbed by the military action. Enter: one of the show's most iconic spats.
Whoopi Whips Trump (2011)
This one was pretty simple: Donald Trump floated the very racist conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not an American citizen and had an obligation to present his birth certificate as proof. Whoopi, furious, handily handed Trump the facts.
A Star Fades (2006)
Welp, this one certainly fits under the "awkward" category — during a tense moment toward the top of a Season 9 episode, Star announced she wouldn't be returning to the show in its coming year, and while she insisted the move was her call, her body language suggested all had not gone well with her contract negotiations.
N-word? How About No (2008)
Let's just shorthand this: Elisabeth was exhausting.
Identity Politics Showdown (2019)
Meghan and Abby tried to dismiss the idea that they were racists, but other panelists were unwilling to let their support of certain GOP actions slide.
Ann Coulter Gets Cold Reception (2012)
During an appearance on the show, uber-conservative pundit Ann Coulter tried to argue that Republicans were much friendlier to America's black population than were Democrats. Whoopi, who might as well have had steam coming out of her ears very, ummmm, politely disagreed.
Gay Marriage Makes for Mayhem (2008)
Shocker: Elisabeth Hasselbeck falsely insisted that civil unions afforded gay couples the same right as state- or federal-sanctioned marriage. She was wrong, and her fellow panelists let her know.
Barbara Throws Barbs (2006)
During a 2006 conversation about the morning-after pill — and its new availability over the counter — Elisabeth claimed that using Plan B was the same thing as birthing a baby and "leaving it out on the street." Barbara, thankfully, didn't let the remark go uncontested.
A Wedding Cake Breeds Bad Blood (2015)
Did a bakery deserve a fine for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple's wedding? The answer might seem clear, but Candace had an... interesting argument in favor of the company.
Whoopi + Mo'Nique Get Heated Over Hollywood (2018)
During an appearance on the show in 2018, Mo'Nique described how she was blacklisted from the industry for not fulfilling overseas promotional duties surrounding the release of Precious. But Whoopi, simply, wasn't having it.
Bush's Legacy Leads to Mayhem (2009)
As President Bush's final days in office played out, panelists reflected on whether he was truly contrite about his delayed action to respond to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The consensus was... there wasn't one. Go figure!
Good Golly, These Guns (2019)
During a segment with then-Presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke (you know, the one whose Texas community experienced a mass shooting), Meghan took it upon herself to say that if gun buybacks were mandated, there would be an uprising among Second Amendment buffs, who'd incite even more violence.
Please Stop Talking, Meghan (2019)
They're Whoopi's words, not ours! During a particularly heated debate over — you guessed it — politics, Whoopi had finally had enough of Meghan's interjections, and simply cut her off.
Sunny With a Chance of Anti-Semitism (2019)
A debate over Islam, rising rates of anti-semitism and Rep. Ilhan Omar's remarks surrounding the Middle East found Sunny on one side, and Meghan — who somehow made the issue of anti-semitism about her — on the other side entirely.
Kelly Gets Clocked for Latino Remarks (2015)
Kelly may have been well-meaning — and some have said she simply expressed a good point in a bad way — but during a debate over then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump's use of anti-immigrant rhetoric, she stirred up trouble when she noted, consequently, "[Trump], if you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to clean your toilets?"
Meghan Makes an Exit (2019)
During a multi-pronged political debate with Ana, Meghan found herself banging her head against the wall, and when she felt like she was being condescended to, she simply left.
Racism Rears Its Ugly Head (2018)
As was routinely the case, Rosie didn't fear standing on an island, and when she identified the United States as teeming with racists, Whoopi — who said there was more nuance to the issue — went off on her.
Meghan Calls Joy a 'Bitch' (2019)
Meghan insisted the name was issued in jest — and that she and Joy adored each other behind closed doors — but it still didn't make the encompassing argument any less uncomfortable.
Bill Cosby Accusations Accelerate Tension (2014)
As accusations of rape against Bill Cosby piled up, so, too, did tensions on the set of The View, and Rosie, in particular, didn't hold back when condemning the comedian's history of alleged drugging and assaulting unsuspecting women. Her fellow panelists decried, instead, a mob culture, but time has proven that Rosie — though the cheese stood alone — was the correct voice on the matter.
Kate Plus Eight Times Whoopi (2009)
A recent tabloid story about Kate Gosselin showing up to her ex's house while he was in custody of the couple's children didn't sit well with Whoopi, who chided the reality TV star for her behavior. No surprise: there was little compromise, and lots of fighting to follow.
Whoopi and Jedediah Go Rounds Over Abortion (2017)
Though Whoopi correctly pointed out that tax dollars don't go toward Planned Parenthood performing abortions, Jedediah nevertheless offered up a non sequitur pro-life argument against federal funding, and hell broke loose.
How About 'Anti-Choice'? (2012)
During a roiling debate over abortion nomenclature that stemmed from President Barack Obama's public endorsement of a pro-choice public, Joy offered this take: Shouldn't we stop calling the opposing view "pro-life" and, instead, call it anti-choice?
Poor Meghan (2018)
During a heated debate over the subject of poverty, Whoopi gave Meghan a lesson about how many who claim to be "pro-life" aren't so concerned with a life after birth.
Partial-Birth Blowout (2007)
In a moment that felt a little bit like Groundhog's Day, Elisabeth and Rosie went rounds over the topic of partial-birth abortion, even though Joy tried to remind Elisabeth that Republicans claimed they didn't want the government interfering with the lives of citizens.
O'Reilly? Oh, No (2010)
When the conservative media pundit began spewing anti-Muslim rhetoric during an appearance on the show, certain panelists simply had enough and — very justifiably — walked off set.