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Barbara Walters Claimed She Was Forced Off "The View," Co-Host Says

Lisa Ling just revealed that Walters told her she was being made to leave the show.

The View has featured two dozen hosts during its 26 years on the air, but one of the most significant departures came in 2014 when the show's creator, Barbara Walters, retired. At age 83 and after decades working in TV journalism, Walters announced in 2013 that she would be retiring and leaving the daytime talk show. But in a recent interview, one former co-host revealed that it wasn't the legendary journalist's decision.

In new story for The Cut, 17 women TV journalists spoke about Walters' legacy following her December 2022 death at age 93. And her one-time The View castmate Lisa Ling claimed that Walters told her she was essentially being forced to leave her own show. Read on to find out more.

READ THIS NEXT: Former The View Co-Host Says Her Cardiologist Told Her to Quit the Show.

Walters announced her retirement in 2013.

As reported by The Guardian, Walters announced in 2013 that she would be leaving The View and TV hosting in general the following year.

"It's been a joyful, rewarding, challenging, fascinating and occasionally bumpy ride and I wouldn't change a thing," Walters said at the time. "It's my decision, I've been thinking about it for a long time, and this is what I want to do."

She returned to the show a couple of times after leaving as a regular host and remained an executive producer. She also continued with TV specials and interviews until 2015 at which point she retired from TV appearances altogether.

Ling claimed that Walters told her she was being pushed out.

Lisa Ling hosting "The View" on January 25, 2022
The View / YouTube

In the story for The Cut, Ling, who co-hosted The View from 1999 to 2002, said that Walters told her she didn't really want to leave the show. This supposedly happened during Walters' final episode, during which she was honored by the appearance of many women who had worked with Walters or followed in her footsteps.

"I've never shared this with anyone," Ling told The Cut. She explained that when the show was no longer live, she asked Walters, "Barbara, in a couple of months, are you going to be lounging in a hammock in Tahiti?"

"And she just leaned over and whispered, 'They're making me quit,'" the former co-host continued.

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Walters insisted to the public that it was her decision.

At the time of her retirement, Walters publicly said that she was choosing to leave The View. In a 2014 interview with Variety, she referenced Jay Leno leaving The Tonight Show and said, "I think Jay felt that he was pushed out. I don't feel like I'm being pushed out. This was my decision."

"I should really be depressed, but I'm not," she added. "So maybe there's something wrong with me. What's wrong with this woman that she's not depressed about leaving television?"

Walters also said that she would consider coming back for the right interview. "I'm not going off into the sunset," she said.

Her health may have played a role.

Meredith Vieira, Joy Behar, Barbara Walters, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck at the 2006 Daytime Emmy Awards
s_bukley / Shutterstock

In in the book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, writer Ramin Setoodeh claimed that Walters' declining health was a factor in her decision to leave TV.

"One day, just as the show ended, she collapsed into the arms of a stage manager. She had to be taken to the greenroom, where they laid her down on a sofa. The staff called the paramedics," the book reads (via Page Six).

According to Ladies Who Punch, Walters was "concerned that the sight of her on a stretcher would make it into the papers" but agreed to see a doctor and returned to work the next day. "Barbara acted like it was business as usual," Setoodeh wrote.

Similarly, in a Variety piece about Walters following her death, Setoodeh wrote, "Barbara would have never retired from TV if she could have stayed on forever. But as she got into her late 80s, her health deteriorated." The publication also reports that she suffered from memory loss in her later years.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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