Meghan McCain still seems to be stirring controversy at ABC months after her exit from The View. After McCain raised a number of allegations about a "toxic" workplace and co-hosts during her four-year tenure on the long-running daytime talk show, ABC bosses are reportedly "furious," pushing back against her claims behind-the-scenes.
The upset was sparked this week amid promotion for McCain's new memoir, Bad Republican, portions of which were obtained by Fox News media correspondent Howard Kurtz. In the audiobook, McCain claimed she faced "toxic, direct and purposeful hostility" during her time on the show, specifically calling out her former The View co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg, whom she said "grew meaner and less forgiving" throughout the course of Donald Trump's presidency. McCain wrote she felt her colleagues began to see her "as if I had become an avatar for everything they hated about the president." McCain raised similar allegations in an interview with Variety, where she described The View as "unhinged and disorganized and rowdy" and a place that made her feel isolated "because of my political ideology" as her co-hosts would take "out their anger on the administration on" her.
However, the truth behind the allegations reportedly paints a very different picture, according to sources close to production who spoke to TMZ. According to those sources, ABC executives, who are reportedly "furious" over McCain's remarks, have said McCain was largely responsible for the on-set toxicity on The View. The sources claimed an internal investigation into the "toxic" environment was carried out, "but mostly due to Meghan's behavior on and off camera, not her coworkers." During the investigation, ABC News President Kim Godwin met with key stakeholders, with the "thorough" investigation finding that McCain "was the source of a lot of the in-fighting" and McCain "was, more often than not, the instigator of" those heated on-air disputes.
The sources also hit back at McCain's claims that McCain left the long-running talk show of her own volition. In both her memoir and in an interview with Variety, McCain claimed that it was a Jan. 5 comment from Behar upon her return from maternity leave that prompted her decision to leave. However, TMZ, citing those sources, reported "the network was ready to move on too" and her exit "was a long time coming," as many at the network reportedly felt McCain's exit should have come sooner, but former boss James Goldston neglected to move on that due to fear of "conservative backlash. The sources alleged the findings of the internal investigation "essentially forced" McCain out of her role.
At this time, neither McCain nor ABC have responded to TMZ's report. In a statement to The Hill addressing the claims made in McCain's book and interviews, a spokesperson for the network said The View "has been a platform on air and behind the scenes for strong women" for the past 25 years. The statement added, "live television and different perspectives can often lead to surprising moments, but the team is collaborative and supportive - focused on delivering an informative daily talk show to our loyal viewers."