From Rosie O'Donnell to Whoopi Goldberg, ABC's long-running daytime talk show The View has seen a number of co-hosts since its 1997 debut. Created by iconic journalist Barbara Walters, The View sees news, politics, and social issues through the lens of a woman. Considering much of the show highlights the opinions of its notable and intelligent co-hosts, as well as its guests, the stage of The View frequently sees squabbles and debates.
While this undoubtedly makes for incredibly entertaining television, the thought-provoking topics — which range from late-term abortion to COVID-19 vaccine mandates — inspire viewers to form their own opinions. While The View isn't always celebrated (it's been spoofed on SNL a copious amount of times), it has good and bad qualities, as many things do. Former co-host Abby Huntsman can subscribe to that, as her experience on the show left her with nuanced thoughts leading up to her 2020 departure.
Why did Abby Huntsman leave 'The View'?
Journalist and former Fox News anchor Abby Huntsman, who acted as one of The View's co-hosts from 2018 to 2020, had a lot to say about her run on the show. While co-hosting alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Meghan McCain, Abby — the daughter of former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. — experienced loads of ups and downs. So many, in fact, that Abby feels the talk show boasts an "unbearable culture."
While appearing as a guest during a recent episode of The View's podcast, Behind the Table, Abby spoke her truth, which is something that's extremely important to her. She felt as though the snipped and trimmed version of her that The View wanted wasn't authentic Abby, nor was it good for her mental health. More specifically, Abby said she sometimes felt "trapped."
Abby felt authenticity was put on the back burner during her run on 'The View.'
"I was not rewarded for being me — I was not rewarded for not being so out there," Abby said on the podcast. "I went into news to be authentic." Abby further explained that The View often intentionally starts drama, garnishing each episode with a little bit of chaos. The show was at an all-time "extreme" during Donald Trump's infamous four years as President of the United States.
"Everything was about a soundbite and everything was, 'Who could say the most bombastic thing in the moment?' and that's not me," she stated. She went on to say that she would've been perfect for The View circa 1998, which featured a less theatrical setup.
Though Abby is known to have a conservative background, she clarified that while she's conservative on some issues, she's not conservative on all issues. "Welcome to the world. Not everyone fits in a box," she firmly stated. Abby agreed to join The View back in 2018 as long as she wasn't intended to be the token conservative co-host. She worried the show got off on the idea that her differing opinions would start drama, causing the co-hosts to talk over each other in an effervescent liberal versus conservative battle.
The "pressure" to be controversial didn't sit well with Abby, and when everything came to a boil, Abby asked for a day off, which was something foreign to her. "I wrote the higher-ups at ABC and I said, 'I need a day tomorrow' — I never took a day off ever, I always showed up — and I said 'Something has happened emotionally, I need to take a day for me,'" the Who Will I Be? children's book author stated. When there was pushback, Abby knew it was time to leave. Her mental health was more important.
Abby feels as though her stint on 'The View' made her "stronger."
Despite her issues with the show's thirst for headline-making moments and sometimes-problematic setup, Abby is grateful for the friendships she made with the hardworking staff. "Many that have been there from the beginning of days that aren't caught up in any of the stuff that you read in the tabloids," she said regarding The View's many staff members. "They're the reason the show is still going."
"You leave there and you have a much better sense of who you are, what you believe," she continued. "I know what I want out of life now, and I don't know that I was at that place before I joined the show." With wonderful people and diverse experiences, Abby admitted her journey on The View helped her "blossom more as a TV host and a personality." According to Abby Huntsman, being a part of The View is something that just sticks with you.