— The View (@theviewtv) July 10, 2014
On Thursday, ABC and the producers of The View welcomed Rosie O’Donnell back to the struggling morning show with a tweet, a banner and a somewhat unflattering snapshot:
“It’s official! ABC confirms Rosie O’Donnell returns as co-host of #TheView w/ moderator Whoopi Goldberg for Season 18.”
The news is hardly a shock to those in-the-know on what’s going on ’round the small screen: Whispers have been abound that Rosie was offered a sweet pot to return to the daytime gabfest she left in a huff seven years ago. According to The New York Post’s Page Six column, View producers offered the comedienne a one-year, seven-figure deal, which reportedly includes a few stipulations.
For starters, Rosie allegedly has “approval over offers to other co-hosts.” But here’s the kicker, tipsters say Rosie specifically requested that producers not hire any celebrity affiliated with a reality show. (Guess that mean Bethenny Frankel is out of contention?) Fans may recall that Rosie’s longtime nemesis, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, rose to fame as a contestant on Survivor before her conservative views earned her a spot on The View panel in 2003.
If recent behavior is any indication, Elisabeth’s feud with Rosie is far from water under the bridge. Elisabeth, who departed The View in 2013, was beside herself with contempt when she called into Fox & Friends Wednesday morning to weigh in on what was, at that time, speculation about O’Donnell’s deal to return.
“What could ruin a vacation more than to hear news like this? Talk about not securing the border. Here comes to The View the very woman who spit in the face of our military, spit in the face of her own network and really in the face of a person who stood by her and had civilized debates for the time that she was there.”
If Elisabeth’s hoping to find support in her anti-Rosie campaign among her former co-hosts, she’ll likely be waiting awhile. Joy Behar, who was a View moderator for 16 years before leaving the program in 2013, appeared on CNN Wednesday evening and blasted Hasselbeck. Behar called Elisabeth’s “nasty” remarks about Rosie “hate-filled” and “below the belt.”
Rosie’s soon-to-be co-host, Whoopi Goldberg, also stepped into the fray. The Oscar winner doesn’t sound pleased that Hasselbeck advised Rosie “not to challenge Whoopi Goldberg on anything” during her Fox & Friends rant. Whoopi, always outspoken, seemed to resent being called a rumble rouser.
“Yes, I’m here. We don’t know who’s coming in, but I will tell you this: The respect that I have for the people who work here will not change. I will do my best to respect the audience, to make sure that we bring you The View that Barbara Walters wanted you to have, which is women talking about issues. We are not little kids, we are grown-ass women…I don’t fight with people, that’s not my way. Quit trying to make me into something I’m not. I’m not a little girl with cat claws. I am not a cat, I am a human being. I am a girl with a fist. And so, I’m just telling y’all, The View is going to evolve as it always has. Quit trying to make something happen and let whatever’s going to happen, happen, and we hope you will join us when we come back.”