Barbara Walters Almost Fired This "View" Co-Host for Being a "Loose Cannon"
"I said, 'Barbara, it was just a mistake. It was an honest mistake.'"
No host of The View has been around longer than Joy Behar. The 79-year-old comedian was one of the five original hosts of the show when it premiered in 1997, and other than taking off two seasons in 2014 and 2015, she's been on the panel ever since. But while The View isn't The View without Behar at this point, there was a time 16 years ago when she was almost fired by series creator Barbara Walters for sharing some information that she wasn't supposed to. Read on to see what Behar spilled that she shouldn't have and how Walters reacted during a tense phone call.
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The original hosts reunited for a special.
The View premiered in 1997 and was created by TV journalist Walters. The original hosts were Walters, Behar, Star Jones, Meredith Vieira, and Debbie Matenopoulos. Twenty-five years later, the hosts—minus Walters—have reunited for the special Behind the Table: A View Reunion, which premieres on Hulu on Monday, June 20. The four women got back together at the Essex House hotel where the View auditions were held back in the late '90s.
Walters once told Behar that she was going to fire her.
In a clip from the special shared by People, Behar shares the story of the time Walters nearly fired her. Back in 2006, Behar told the media that Rosie O'Donnell was joining the show as a new co-host before the information was meant to go public, which upset Walters.
"Phone rings. 'Hello, Joy? It's Barbara.' I said, 'Oh hi, Barbara,'" Behar said, recounting the story. She said Walters continued, "I just got a call from Entertainment Tonight and guess what they said? They said, 'Oh, and Rosie O'Donnell's coming on the show.' And guess who told them?"
Behar said she suggested, "Meredith Vieira?" At this, Vieira was shocked. "Did you really?!" she said and pretended to toss her drink on Behar.
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Walters called Behar a "loose cannon."
Walters obviously already knew that it was Behar, not Vieira, who shared the news about O'Donnell.
"She said, 'No, not Meredith Vieira. You, Joy Behar did that, and I want you to know that I'm not renewing your contract,'" Behar continued. "I said, 'Barbara, it was just a mistake. It was an honest mistake. You know how I am when I'm shopping.'"
Behar added that Walters said, "You're a loose cannon, and I'm not renewing your contract." She responded, "Barbara come on, it's, like, no big deal," but Walters said "No!" and hung up the phone. "For a minute I was stunned. It was like, really? For that?" Behar concluded.
Behar shared her secret to not getting canned from the show.
Obviously, Behar didn't actually end up getting fired by Walters, and she remains on the show today. In an interview with People in September 2021, Behar said that one way she has avoided losing her job all these years is by apologizing—even when she doesn't mean it.
"Well, I've gotten in trouble a few times on the show," she said. "I've had to apologize, which I'm happy to do in order to save mine and everybody else's job. I don't care. Even if I don't mean it, I'll do it. Even if I look like I'm in a hostage takeover, I'll still do it, because if you don't do it, you lose your job and everybody else's."
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