Vulture has an excerpt from Ramin Setoodah’s upcoming book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of “The View.” It’s about Jenny McCarthy’s one year tenure on the show, from the summer of 2013 to 2014, and how it was cutthroat and demoralizing for her as Barbara Walters and Whoopi were vying for head moderator. That was Barbara’s last year on The View, and Jenny tells stories of Barbara micromanaging Jenny’s outfits, forgetting recent guests and not knowing famous names, and generally being mean and vindictive. In Jenny’s version she’s the victim who was misled into signing on and was treated horribly every day. She told Sedootah that Barbara constantly tried to undermine her and that Whoopi talked over her and dominated panel discussions, although that was arguably Whoopi’s job. She also mischaracterized her anti-vaccination stance. Jenny claimed in a book published in 2007 that her son, Evan, had autism (which some experts debate), that she cured him by changing his diet, and that his condition was caused by vaccinations. She led a “green our vaccines” movement, claiming that unsafe ingredients in vaccines caused her son’s condition. Many news outlets spoke out against The View hiring Jenny for this reason, but she makes it sound like fringe groups were leading a hate campaign against her moderate stance, which was not the case. She’s said things like “it shouldn’t be polio vs. autism,” that she wouldn’t vaccinate or recommend vaccinations and that it’s a lie that vaccinations don’t cause autism. Here are some excerpts from that segment of the book. Setoodah is a strong writer and it’s a good read, although it’s clearly Jenny’s distorted version of events.
On groups targeting her; she misrepresents her stance on vaccines
Jenny believed that the hostility toward her originated from a lobbying group that wanted to silence her. “I had to deal with a hurricane, a tornado. I consider myself to be pro-vaccine, but pro–safe vaccine. There’s another group, they go out and try to get me fired from every job I’ve ever done. They are invisible but powerful.”
On Barbara Walters being confused and mean
“Imagine a woman like Barbara Walters,” Jenny explained. “It’s her last year and she doesn’t want to leave. Think about that. And I’m the new bitch there.”
One day in Hot Topics, Jenny sounded off about Katy Perry dating the bad-boy musician John Mayer. “I saw Barbara’s face with her big saucer eyes look at me,” Jenny 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!’”
Jenny recalled, “That wasn’t the right thing to say. I felt everyone kicking me under the table.” 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.”
“We would all show up in the makeup room,” Jenny said. “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.” Jenny estimated that over the next seven months she switched 50 outfits as a result of Barbara’s withering gaze, as if they were doing a photo shoot at Vogue instead of a daytime talk show.
On Whoopi controlling discussions
“People don’t understand,” Jenny 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.” Jenny thought that Whoopi didn’t like that Jenny hadn’t deferred to her enough. “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.”
On how hard it was for her
“Every day I went home and I was miserable,” Jenny told me. “It really was the most miserable I’ve been on a job in my 25 years of show business.”
This excerpt opened with Jenny describing Barbara taking her aside and yelling at her during her first appearance on The View as a guest in 2007. Barbara rightfully called her out for saying autism can be cured, only in Jenny’s story Barbara was using a straw man argument against her that wasn’t true. She tells another story of when she was working there about Barbara accusing her of not flushing a tampon in the bathroom that wasn’t hers. I don’t doubt that Barbara was a horrible boss and an emotionally abusive person, we’ve heard that about her for years. If Jenny’s first encounter with her was so awful, why did she sign on to the show? I realize this sounds like I’m blaming the victim, but Jenny wasn’t a victim, she was a grown woman who made a bad career decision, years after she went on a press tour claiming that her son’s autism was caused by vaccines and that she cured him by changing his diet. She’s never rolled back any of those claims, she’s just changed her story about what she said.
photos credit: WENN and Getty
Jenny needs to go away
Jenny was perfect for that insufferable show. Surprised she wouldn’t feel at-home with a bunch of women who talk over each other.
Yes. My sentiments exactly. I’m surprised this show is even on the air. I can’t stand shows where the main point is to argue (over each other to boot)
I don’t like any of these people including Whoopi. And I hate this show. My mother watches it! She lives with me and I told her if she keeps up with this I may ship her off to shady brook even though she hates trump! That is the big plus with her, she is a liberal. The only reason she isn’t at shady brook, haha
Haha. Is that a reference to the Golden Girls Shady Pines?
I love it! Golden Girls rule forever!!
@Daria your mom can always live with me. I love The View. If she likes The Talk and The Real, I think I’ve found my soulmate mom.
Can I be your soulmate sister? I watch these 3 shows every. damn.
day. AND….also watch Access Hollywood Live w/ Kit, Natalie, and Scott 😅
@Darla – LOL! I can’t stand the View either. Although, Barbara Walters was, at times, entertaining but probably not in the way she intended.
I’m feeling some kind of way about this Bobblehead Becky feeling oh so intimidated by a black woman who quite frankly, is smarter than McCarthy.
And of course Barbara had no respect for Jenny. She could have been a much better boss/fellow employee but Jenny shouldn’t have expected to blather on unchecked either
Not sure race has anything to do with this. Whoopi is a deplorable person. McCarthy is dangerously weaponizing her ignorance about public health. That’s monster equality right there.
You don’t have to think it does. But all those women talk all over each other but Jenny mentions Whoopi specifically and also mentions her strong voice which really isn’t all that dominating.
I still am not convinced. Whoopi’s voice is quite strident and I’ve always seen her communication style as not just interruptive or insistent but domineering. Also McCarthy expands the description to the extent that I definitely feel she was hinting that Whoopi is a bulky or at least a steamroller. It is probably pot meet kettle but I didn’t get a sense that it was racial shade. Hope I’m not wrong and certainly not ruling it out.
Thank you for explaining your position.
Would you feel comfortable saying you felt a certain way about a Bobbleheaded Sister feeling so intimidated by a White woman who is smarter than the Sister anyway?
Because if that’s not something you feel comfortable saying you should re-evaluate your comment for the racist content if spews
Why is she still famous?!? I work with kids with autism and when parents try to talk about about pseudo science, I imagine dragging Jenny McCarthy and punching her in the face
The show is an embarrassment.
It really is. These women are all a disgrace to our gender. Catty, petty and ignorant. The only View co-host I liked was Lisa Ling.
My grandson is autistic, although on the high function level. You can’t cure autism with diet. Many are very sensitive to color and texture in food and will only eat certain foods. As a result, many autistic children have difficulty with their nutritional status and immune function.
I’d like to kick her under the table too.
She has done a LOT of harm to many people, and deserves every bit of scorn and condemnation she gets.
Also her face is bananas.
Thanks to her and her type, whooping cough,
Measles and other terrible diseases are coming back. You can’t cure autism. And vaccines don’t cause it.
yeah, that header pic is really shocking.
bad plastic surgery and too much make up.
she A) looks a bit like Busy Phillips and B) looks like she has to work REALLY HARD to smile.
She’s crossed into Madonna territory. All those fillers and “enhancements” and the results are not good.
Go murder a few more innocents with your misinformation campaign, jackass. People like you are the reason my friend lives in terror of sending her immunosuppressed son to school.
Whoopi “it’s not rape-rape” – defender of Roman Polanski. Jenny should have said no to the job from the beginning. It’s not like Barbara’s crappy behavior and Whoopi being an ass wasn’t well known by then.
The fact that her shady anti-vax organization shilled products and (life-threatening) treatments that literally paid right into the pockets of sitting members of the Board should discredit absolutely everything she and Generation Hope has to say on the matter.
SO basically she had a boss like most of us and she is whining about it. haha talk about privilege.
Ramin Setoodeh is a trash journalist, writing about trash people on trash TV. No thank you.
Perhaps if McCarthy hadn’t spewed disproven, outright false medical “opinion” as fact, Walters, an actual news woman, wouldn’t have yelled at her quite so much.
Walters must have been galled by McCarthy’s forceful stupidity.
The events aren’t the only thing that Jenny distorted—just look at her face!! 😱
I love the view. Joy Behar is probably my favorite person. But even I a HUGE fan stopped watching the year Jenny was on. She is the most annoying person.
I love the View as well. Joy Behan, Sunny Hostin and Anna Navarro are my favorite.
Joy and Anna are my faves…OTOH, Meghan needs to leave the show and chillax…
This show should be canceled. It’s just a bunch of women arguing or attacking the youngest/newest member for having their own opinions.
I love The View. I can’t stand Jenny. I doubt she was intelligent enough to be on that show.
Did you see the piece in Jezebel yesterday that showed how her autism organization is using parents’ fears of these false connections between autism and vaccines to make its board members money?
I can’t believe this show is still on the air. If you want to watch a really good show watch “The Social”. It’s Canadian and wayyy better than The View.
1. I’m pretty sure that many of these anti-vaxxers were vaccinated as children and most, if not all, turned out fine.
2. Strange that Anti-vaxxers believe that doctors/scientists are lying (or don’t know enough) about vaccines but believe every other medical/clinical research and findings under the sun.
3. None of these anti-vaxxers possess a medical degree (or maybe they’re graduates of Trump University).
A lot of them are most likely russian-bots too. Another weapon for pudding the divide and conquer online.
Did you see the new article out about Barbara having advanced dementia?
Unfortunately in Jenny’s case, this could have been the reason she was lashing out years ago, and why she couldn’t remember celebrities back then. May have been early signs.
Sorry if this was discussed/known of before. I never really followed The View, or Barbara gossip at all, so this is new to me.
I’m surprised Jenny didn’t say the dementia was caused by vaccines Like maybe a delayed reaction or something to Barbara’s childhood polio vaccine
good god… she would
Dang, she looks ROUGH.