In a new tell-all, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, former co-host Jenny McCarthy opens up about the 2013-2014 season she spent on the daytime talk show and, in particular, the behind-the-scenes rifts she had with her fellow hosts — namely, View creator Barbara Walters.
From the start, McCarthy said Walters took issue with her wardrobe, which, mind you, was chosen by a stylist. “If she didn’t agree with it, or it didn’t complement her outfit, I had to change,” she said.
Once, when McCarthy arrived on set in a sleeveless Victoria Beckham dress, Walters asked her, “What the hell are you wearing?” before yelling at her to change. McCarthy estimates that she was made to change at Walters’s command about 50 times through the seven months she spent on the show.
“She wanted to start dressing like me,” McCarthy added. “There were times when she’d say change, and she’d make people run out and get that dress in her size. I was a human Barbie doll.”
McCarthy began avoiding Walters altogether. “When I’d hear the shuffle of her feet, I knew that Barbara was after me,” she said. “Based on the speed of the shuffle, I would hide or get on the phone.”
“I’ve never seen a woman yell like that before until I worked with Barbara Walters,” she said of the 89-year-old’s wrath, comparing it to the outbursts depicted in 1981 biographical drama Mommie Dearest.
But despite the hard knocks on set, McCarthy says she has “zero hard feelings” toward Walters. “I loved her like a grandma. She didn’t know any better.”
“Imagine a woman like Barbara Walters,” McCarthy said, rationalizing her behavior. “It’s her last year and she doesn’t want to leave. Think about that. And I’m the new bitch there.”
Despite Walters’s reluctance to leave the show she created, McCarthy said her forgetfulness made the pop culture aspect of the The View challenging.
For example, Jenny mentioned Katy Perry on air once and as they cut to commercial Walters asked, ‘Who is it that you’re talking about and why are you bringing her up?’”
“I’m, like, ‘That’s Katy Perry. You interviewed her last week!’” McCarthy countered.
“I was told, ‘We cannot do pop culture anymore because she doesn’t know who the people are,’” McCarthy said, signaling the show’s shift toward the political.
“Every day I went home and I was miserable,” the Masked Singer judge said of her time on The View. “It really was the most miserable I’ve been on a job in my 25 years of show business.”
At this time, Walters's representatives haven't returned InStyle's request for comment.