Meghan McCain laughs on The View.

Meghan McCain Says Toxic Work Environment Is Reason for The View Departure

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Yesterday former The View co-host Meghan McCain released an excerpt with Variety from her upcoming memoir, Bad Republican, which discussed the “toxic” environment that led to her exit.

In the exclusive excerpt, the memoir declares that McCain felt like she had been turned on by fellow co-hosts, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, with the latter providing the tipping point. McCain describes coming back from maternity leave and on her second day having Behar say that she didn’t miss her.

On my second day back, as I was still getting my sea legs back and adjusting to my new schedule and life between breast-pumping and researching for my hot topics, Joy and I began squabbling a bit about the state of the Democratic Party on air. To make light of things and to ease the tension, I said, “Joy, you missed me so much when I was on maternity leave! You missed fighting with me!”

“I did not,” Joy said. “I did not miss you. Zero.”

Nothing anyone has ever said to me on camera since I have been giving interviews since I was 22 years old ever hit this hard. I felt like I’d been slapped. She yelled out at me sharp and intensely and I believed her.

Now for context, I found the clip in question when this moment happened.

Okay, so for context, the two women were engaging in a “discussion” about which party had worse divisions, the Republicans or the Democrats. Behar was making a point and McCain countered and the tension started there and that’s when Meghan starts going “you missed me so much.” And while it may have been intended as playful, the moment was already heated, so it doesn’t come off as “making light.”

Still, to be in good faith, I would imagine that hearing that would be hurtful, especially just coming back to work on a show where you are the token bad guy and would much rather be with your newborn.

Another moment she brings up is a growing tension between herself and Whoopi Goldberg:

“The thing about Whoopi, though, is that she yields so much power in culture and television, and once she turns on you, it can create unfathomable tension at the table. I found her open disdain for me more and more difficult to manage as the years went on and it became more frequent. Occasionally, if the show’s political discourse veered into territory that she found disagreeable, Whoopi would cut me off, sometimes harshly. Once, in the middle of a heated debate on live TV, Whoopi singled me out and said, “Girl, please stop talking right now.” It instantly trended on Twitter. And it really hurt. Another time she answered something I said by blurting out “O.K.” in a tone that declared she was both baffled and disgusted by what I had just said. This reaction also went viral and left a scar on our relationship. Day after day, week after week, these things take a toll.”

That “okay” came after Meghan had a hilariously silly rant about how Oprah and Meghan Markle were continuing the work of George Washington by taking down the monarch. I feel like after that tirade the “O.K.” was more than earned.

As someone who is politically on the opposite side of McCain, I can say that I don’t have much sympathy for her, but I can be empathetic that post-a baby, and dealing with severe postpartum anxiety and postpartum preeclampsia, that she felt this was not a healthy place for her. Plus The View is not a place for debate really. It is a soundbite show and McCain was profitable to the program for the soundbites.

She claims that “The View is billed as being honest and open. It’s billed as an arena for women to share and discuss their views on politics and the most important topics of the day — an arena historically occupied by men. A space where women support — and respectfully challenge — each other. But the truth is that the environment of the show is toxic.” That I do not doubt.

McCain is on her book tour for Bad Republican and went on Sean Hannity’s show to discuss her experience. “Look, I worked at Fox News before I went to ‘The View’ and I probably would not have survived emotionally,” she said Tuesday night. “The past five years of my life between my dad’s passing, and cancer, and everything I speak about in my memoir happening at ‘The View’ and other things in my personal life if it weren’t for the women that I met at Fox News.”

She told PEOPLE:

“I kind of feel The View is like when the guy who has a bad reputation wants to date you and you’re like, ‘I’m going to be the one to change him,'” McCain says. “That’s what The View is to me. I was like, ‘I’m going to be the one to change this. I’m going to be the one that’s going to help the culture and whip it into shape and all these things.'”

During an interview with Rolling Stone discussing her audiobook, she said that the SNL skit portraying her as “The Princess of Arizona” hurt her feelings and that she is “aware of this, like, spoiled, entitled queen of nepotism persona that is out there,” about her.

“I feel like I have a pretty healthy sense of humor,” McCain relayed. “But I think if people knew what it has done to me mentally, emotionally, the toll it’s taken on me, the depression that has followed … just the dark spirals. I felt like for a while that I was just the laughing stock of the country. And it’s not true or fair or accurate, but when you’re your worst critic in your head, it’s very hard.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for The View told PEOPLE, “For 25 years, The View has been a platform on air and behind the scenes for strong women. 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.”

(image: Walt Disney Television/Lou Rocco)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.