To say the least, Jenny McCarthy's time on The View was not all sunshine and rainbows. The Masked Singer judge opened up to Vulture this week about working for the long-running ABC talk show, dropping some major bombs about her former co-hosts, including Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg.
"Every day I went home and I was miserable," she said. "It really was the most miserable I've been on a job in my 25 years of show business."
The former Playboy model didn't hold back as she detailed alleged stories about Walters and Goldberg, both of whom she said picked fights with her and each other.
"Imagine a woman like Barbara Walters. It's her last year and she doesn't want to leave. Think about that. And I'm the new bitch here," she said, explaining that she never felt accepted by Walters during her time on season 17 in 2013 and 2014.
Continue on to learn all the bombshells McCarthy dropped about the behind-the-scenes drama from The View, excerpted from the book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, which hits bookshelves on April 12.
Even before McCarthy was a regular, she was a guest on the show in 2007, promoting her book Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism, in which she argued that vaccines weakened her son's immune system and triggered his autism. She claimed that she improved his health with a gluten-free diet of cod-liver oil and vitamins along with behavioral therapy.
But before the interview, a producer told McCarthy that Walters wanted to speak to her.
“I walked into her dressing room and she blew up at me,” she said. “She was screaming, ‘How dare you say this! That autism can be cured?’ My knees were shaking. I remember my whole body was shaking.”
When she argued that she never used the word "cured" to describe her son's condition, Walters said, "You're such a liar!"
“This lasted for about seven minutes,” McCarthy said. “Finally, someone pulled me out of the room. I went back to my dressing room, not knowing what the f— to do. One of my heroes just chewed me a new a—hole, and I’m going on live TV. I’m freaking the f— out.”
As the newest member of The View, McCarthy felt bullied by Walters — especially after one incident that left Walters forcing her to "deal with" a tampon floating in the toilet of the communal restroom.
“Jenny, there’s a tampon floating in the toilet and it’s disgusting," an exasperated Walters told McCarthy. "Do something about it!"
“I don’t know what to do,” McCarthy said. “She’s standing in the hallway where the guests are, yelling at me about a tampon. I don’t know. Maybe in her brain, she went, ‘I’m going to the youngest, newest person here, because obviously she has her period and left a tampon floating.’ This is Barbara Walters. I’m not going to yell at her. So finally I said, ‘I’ll take care of it. I’ll take one for the team and I’ll flush it.’”
With Walters and Goldberg as the main controlling power dynamics of the show, McCarthy said "There was a war between [them] about Barbara wanting to moderate."
“This is one of the reasons I decided not to ally with Whoopi. It broke my heart when Barbara would shuffle to Whoopi and say, ‘Can I moderate, please?’ And Whoopi would say no. How can you do this to a woman who paved the way for so many female journalists? The reason we’re doing this job is because of Barbara Walters," she explained.
Goldberg's lust for control was so strong that McCarthy felt she could hardly get her point of view in during Hot Topics.
“People don’t understand,” she said. “Whoopi can knock over anyone in a debate. Her voice is strong not only in meaning but also in sound. 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.”
She chalked it up to the idea that maybe Goldberg didn't like that McCarthy hadn't deferred to her enough — but “I wasn’t going to play a kiss-ass. To me, Whoopi had an addiction to controlling people’s thoughts, their words, the room, the table, your feeling, your mood. She had an addiction to controlling all of it and everybody.”
She said that Walters had an eye for McCarthy's wardrobe in particular, even though she said Walters hadn't paid much attention to other co-hosts' outfits in the past.
“We would all show up in the makeup room. Barbara would check out what I was wearing. If she didn’t agree with it, or it didn’t complement her outfit, I had to change," she said, estimating that over the next seven months she switched 50 outfits as a result of Walters' wishes.
“I always had to go put on a sweater,” she said. But before long, Walters "wanted to start dressing like me. 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."
During one day in Hot Topics, McCarthy brought up Katy Perry's relationship with John Mayer — much to Walters' dismay.
“I saw Barbara’s face with her big saucer eyes look at me,” McCarthy said. “Then we went to a commercial. She said, ‘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!’”
“That wasn’t the right thing to say. I felt everyone kicking me under the table,” she recalled, adding that the other co-hosts had devised a method to send signals to one another about how to deal with Barbara. “You either had the knee hold or the kick under the table.”
Because ratings started to slip when McCarthy was brought on board to replace Elisabeth Hasselbeck, McCarthy said producers tried to swivel back to the political, fire and ice feeling the show had just lost — which wasn't McCarthy's strong suit, nor was it the reason she was brought on.
“They did try to change me. They wanted Elisabeth back, and I wasn’t Elisabeth. I would literally have meetings before the show of them trying to input opinions in me to go against Whoopi," she said, explaining that she desperately wanted to quit. “I was going to work crying. I couldn’t be myself. My fans were telling me, ‘Where’s Jenny? They aren’t letting you be you.’”
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