When The View premiered 20 years ago, veteran journalist and news anchor Barbara Walters wanted a platform for intelligent women to get together and discuss the pressing issues of our time. The co-hosts rightfully label it a “housewives show” that covers politics, current events, social issues, and pop culture. Over the years, the show transformed into a “What are they going to say next?” controversial display of feuding females. The subtle change in the show’s platform didn’t seem to have any effect on its ratings, but let’s be honest, viewers of The View can’t get enough of the drama. Here are some of the show’s most outrageous, controversial, and scandalous moments.
Before It Was Cool To Bash Trump
In the mid-2000s, Donald Trump was not quite as unpopular as he is today, but the ladies on The View have never been fans. After news came out about the questionable behavior of Miss USA, Tara Conner, while staying in one of Trump’s luxury buildings, rumors spread about the possible dethroning of the pageant winner since the ladies should be held to higher standards as role models. Trump brushed off the incident saying he had always been a believer in second chances.
Co-host Rosie O’Donnell did her best trump impression saying, “He’s the moral authority” for his multiple marriages and penchant for lawsuits referring to him as a “snake-oil salesman.”
Whoopi v. Trump
Trump had also used The View to push his agenda against President Barack Obama’s legitimacy to be eligible for the office. In 2011, Whoopi Goldberg accused Trump of the racial reasons behind his adamant demand for Obama to release his birth certificate claiming he would never make that request of a white president.
Trump assured her that it had nothing to do with race saying, “There’s something on that birth certificate he doesn’t like.” “I think that’s the biggest pile of dog mess I’ve heard in ages,” Goldberg quipped back at the future president-elect.
Kelly Osbourne’s Slip of the Tongue
Donald Trump is not only the target of co-hosts but one specific guest tried to take a jab at him. While attempting to use The View as her political platform, Kelly Osbourne attempted to express her views about Donald Trump’s immigration stance.
She asked, “If you kick every Latino out of the country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilet, Donald Trump?” The comment made the hosts very uneasy and Osbourne immediately appeared to regret her comment which was obviously taken out of context, but the damage had already been done. Osbourne apologized for her “poor choice of words” and assured people she was not racist.
The Walk Off
Having a conservative television pundit on a liberal-leaning television program is never going to end well. We are not sure what The View was thinking when they invited Bill O’Reilly on the program and brought up the mosque which was planned on being built just after 9/11. O’Reilly claimed the decision to build it was “inappropriate” because we were “attacked by Muslims.”
Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar tried to explain there are extremists in every religion and attempted to distinguish between “Muslims” and “extremists” and got riled up. Not wanting to hear anymore, the two suddenly walked off-stage.
Whoopi Defends Mel Gibson
Whoopi Goldberg has been known to come to the defense of celebrity friends who have received negative backlash. In 2010, a tape was released of Mel Gibson having a total meltdown with his girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. In the middle of one of his tirades, he mentions the an offensive word that begins with the letter “n” when referring to the way Oksana dresses. The expletive-filled phone call is filled with off-color language and threats.
Goldberg told the audience that she knew Gibson was definitely not racist and received backlash from viewers who said she was simply defending the Braveheart star and director because they were chums.
Whoopi Defends Bill Cosby
After allegations resurfaced about Bill Cosby in 2015, thanks to a stand-up act by comedian Hannibal Buress, dozens of women stepped forward claiming to be victims of Bill Cosby’s sexual assault. Whoopi Goldberg, a close friend and colleague of Cosby’s, said he was “innocent until proven guilty.”
The problem was her comments were made after a recent document was released where Cosby admitted to drugging women before having sex with them. Her adamant statements to treat Cosby like an innocent man created controversy and many viewers believed it sent a message to try and silence the alleged victims.
Rosie “Ching Chong” O’Donnell
Danny Devito appeared on The View after a night of heavy drinking with George Clooney and seemed a little off his game during a hilarious interview on-the-air. Rosie O’Donnell commented about Devito’s drunken interview the next day.
“The fact is that it’s news all over the world. You can imagine in China, it’s like…” before inserting a variety of “chings” and “chongs” with a “Danny Devito” and “The View” on occasion. When the Asian-American Journalists Association and other ethnic groups accused her of being insensitive to Asians, she vehemently told them to “lighten up.”
Whoopi v. Rosie
The View has had its fair share of confrontations with its guests and has also had no shortage of tension between its co-hosts as well. When talking about President Obama’s recent visit to Cuba, the ladies commented on how Michelle claimed Barack was confused for a gardener and a valet.
When Whoopi claimed it was racist and O’Donnell disagreed, the two had a sparring match on the air leaving Goldberg to say, “Listen, you are a white lady telling me what is racist to you and only someone who has experienced it first-hand knows what racism is.”
Whoopi v. Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Whoopi’s disagreements do not stop with Rosie O’Donnell. During another episode, the veteran comic clashed with fellow co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck over the use of an offensive word used derogatorily to black people in 2008.
Hasselbeck made her point that the word should never be used under any circumstance and Goldberg disagreed, saying that it was acceptable for black people to take back because “we do live in different worlds, that’s the way it is, Elisabeth, I’m sorry.” The on-air firestorm between the two women left Hasselbeck obviously distraught in tears. Although she made it clear the co-hosts love each other and felt they needed to have that conversation to promote understanding.
Barbara Walters Defends Woody Allen
Defending accused celebrity friends is also not a job completely left to Whoopi Goldberg. When Dylan Farrow wrote a column for The New York Times accusing her father Woody Allen of molesting her when she was a child, Barbara Walters quickly came to the aid of her friend. Walters made it clear she believed Allen was a good husband and father.
There was a brief debate among the co-hosts about Walters’ statement but fans were not so quick to brush off the veteran co-host’s remarks saying Walters was letting Allen off too easy and too easily dismissing Farrow’s statements.
Not So Raven
Raven-Symoné has had her fair share of controversial remarks put into check. The “I don’t like signing anything anymore because my hand gets a cramp” comment prompted fellow co-host, Nicolle Wallace, to remark, “Are you really that famous?”
She practically rendered everyone speechless when she defended a TV host who said Michelle Obama looked like someone out of Planet of the Apes. Symoné said, “Some people look like animals. I look like a bird, should I be mad if someone called me Toucan Sam?” To which Whoopi replied, “I would be mad if somebody called you Toucan Sam.”
Raven Defends Officer for Tackling Student
Racism has always been a consistent topic on The View. News had come out about a police officer who tackled and choked a student who refused to get off of her cell phone in class and was subsequently fired.
Raven-Symoné came to the defense of the officer saying, “My mom always taught me I was born this color, I’m gonna have to deal with the things that are happening, and you come together and work it out. But when I’m in a situation, I definitely don’t want to cause worse things to happen to me. It sucks sometimes.”
Raven-Symoné Won’t Hire Someone with a “Ghetto” Name
Raven-Symoné, the former Cosby Show and Disney Channel star also caused an uproar when she told her fellow The View co-hosts, “I am very discriminatory against [names] like the ones that they were saying in the . I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea. It’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to hire you.”
After the backlash, she issued an apology and claimed she would never deny someone a job opportunity based on their name. Her own father even penned an open letter saying she “says dumb [expletive]” but he is still her biggest fan.
Ann Coulter v. The View
During that same episode, The View gave political commentator Ann Coulter a mouthpiece to promote her new book. Raven attempted to corner the staunchly conservative author saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all. Why do you feel you need to have these mudslings?”
Coulter, who had obviously been paying attention to the episode, said, “At least I’m talking about policy, you have a position on what people’s names should be,” prompting a piercing glare from Raven. When Whoopi asked Coulter if she was a Native American, she replied, “Yes, I’m a settler. I’m a descendent of settlers.”
Whoopi and Coulter’s Differing Views on Race
Ann Coulter was given another chance to express her own views on The View, and this time the discussion was about race. When she began to explain how liberals don’t care about black people, Whoopi interjected. “Please stop. If you’re going to talk about race at least know what you are talking about.”
Coulter continued to try and make her point by saying, “After the OJ trial, white America said the white guilt bank has been shut down.” The discussion continued in all sorts of directions about Obama being a “food-stamp president” and the racial views of the various Southern states and didn’t seem to really end in a point.
Hasselbeck’s Learning Experience
Elisabeth Hasselbeck found herself in some hot water when she made a joke about ESPN reporter and Dancing With the Stars host, Erin Andrews, who was the victim of a peeping Tom in 2011.
After Andrews wore a somewhat skimpy outfit on Dancing With the Stars, Hasselbeck made the comment, “I mean, in some way if I’m [the stalker], I’m like, ‘Man! I just could’ve waited 12 weeks and seen this — a little bit less, without the prison time!'” Hasselbeck’s comment reached Andrews who was hurt by her remarks, which led to a sincere apology the next day calling it a learning experience.
#NursesUnite Against The View
One episode found the ladies of The View discussing the Miss America pageant. When Miss Colorado took the stage wearing her nursing scrubs and gave a monolog about treating Alzheimers patients, co-host Michelle Collins remarked, “She came out in a nurse’s uniform and basically read her emails out loud and shockingly did not win. I was like, that’s not a real talent.”
Even Joy Behar quipped, “Why does she have a doctor’s stethoscope on?” The remarks landed The View co-hosts in serious Internet backlash from the nursing community causing the hashtag #NursesUnite to go viral along with pictures of nurses wearing stethoscopes.
Sabotaged by Whoopi?
Former conservative co-host Paula Faris was approached by the show’s executives with information about low her personal ratings were. Sources say she yelled at the executives saying it “was a bunch of bull” and was adamant the executives bowed to pressure from Whoopi Goldberg to get rid of her as part of her 20th season contract negotiations.
The source goes on, “Despite the fact that there was clear research showing her that the talk show’s audience could not relate to her, she couldn’t comprehend how the viewers did not like her. She kept saying, ‘She’ll regret what she did to me, I promise you that.'”
Goodbye, Barbara Walters
When The View came out, it was clear Barbara Walters wanted it to be a show where women could have informed discussions about pressing issues. As the years went on, the show took a more tabloid turn Barbara Walters decided to retire.
Rumors began to spread that Walters felt The View‘s legacy was tarnished because “they’ve ruined the franchise that she and Bill Geddie built. Instead of focusing on smart, educated women with strong talent, they cast uninformed child actors on the show” of the former child actors that took the stage and the “petty backstage bickering and revolving door of talent.”
The View seems to have had a mixed legacy and will leave a lasting impression on pop-culture talk shows in the future. Time will tell as former co-hosts begin to reveal the backstage drama that took place but one place to start is Star Jones’ 2011 novel Satan’s Sisters.
The fictional book is about a talk show host, Maxine, and her five co-hosts that dives into the power struggles, love affairs, and cat fights that go on behind the scenes. Jones admits some of her characters are based on real-life. The book is being made into a VH1 television show starring Vanessa Williams that will premiere in 2017.