A former co-host of “The View” has opened up about the real reason she left the ABC daytime talk show (stop us if you’ve heard this one before). This time, it’s Abby Huntsman who has dished on her “View” exit, with the former Fox News anchor blaming the show’s “toxic environment” and “unbearable culture.”
After almost two years on “The View,” Huntsman abruptly announced in 2020 that she was leaving the show to help her father, Republican politician Jon Huntsman Jr., with his Utah gubernatorial campaign. And while that was the official story, she admitted on the first episode of her new podcast, “I Wish Somebody Told Me,” that the campaign actually presented “a great out” for her.
“I knew the show did not reflect my values. When I say that I mean rewarding people for bad behavior,” Huntsman said on the podcast, released Thursday. “At that time there were executives in charge and that I did feel that we were kind of players in that game and it was about money and it was about ratings and the tabloids.”
“You would see people act in ways that were not OK, that was very much part of the toxic environment of ‘The View,’ and here we were going on the air criticizing others for toxic culture,” she continued.
Huntsman said she raised her concerns about the “unbearable culture” to executives of the show but was met with a “blank stare.” Ultimately, she said, she decided to leave the show to preserve her mental health.
“When I was walking out of the building that day, I was living again,” she said about the day she left. “I could breathe and feel myself breathing. I was present and I hadn’t been present for the almost two years I was there.”
In a statement provided to TheWrap, a spokesperson from “The View” said: “Twenty-two incredible women have had a seat on the panel and have worked in collaboration with the dedicated group of professionals on our staff. Abby will always remain a part of ‘The View’ family and we look forward to continuing the conversation with her when she visits next month.”
Huntsman isn’t the only ex-“View” host to criticize the show’s work culture. Candace Cameron Bure, who co-hosted from 2015 to 2016, said earlier this month that the “emotional stress” of the show left her with PTSD. And Meghan McCain, who left “The View” earlier this year, said in her memoir that her fellow hosts’ “toxic, direct and purposeful hostility” toward her caused her to leave. Notably, Bure, McCain and Huntsman all served as conservative viewpoints on the show.