Though in recent years more attention has been paid to co-hosts who have come and gone, the remaining ladies of The View recently acknowledged how much their hot topic debate show has changed since it first began. Longtime co-host Joy Behar revealed what—or rather who—she believes is behind the cause of the change. No surprise that former president Donald Trump was behind the major shift, Behar opined.
Both co-hosts and viewers agree that The View’s tone has changed drastically over the years. At its inception, the show was more of a friendly and casual hot-topic talk show, but the last few years have seen a noticeably different atmosphere. Former co-host Meghan McCain’s fiery presence on the show could be used for explanation, but Joy Behar believes the change began even earlier than that.
Of course the popularity of social media had a large part, Behar admitted during the show’s 25th anniversary episode. As the last original co-host, she recalled a time before social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and others allowed fans direct communication with their favorite celebrities.
There weren’t the constant stream of comments during that time. When Whoopi Goldberg asked if social media was the main reason Behar believed the show was “completely different” from how it started out, Behar disagreed.
“I think that this show really took a change when Trump got in,” Behar explained. “‘Cause we used to have more laughs before he got into office.” Another co-host, Sarah Haines, joked that Trump was good material for comedians, like Behar.
“Yes, he’s good material for comedians,” Behar concurred before adding, “but I mean, he became so scary as a leader—or whatever he is—as somebody who is such a threat to democracy, that it became very important that we convey what we felt, and thought, and read about to the audience.” Behar added, “And so, it became a completely different show. That’s what happened.”
Sunny Hostin admitted that a mixture of Trump and social media began to weigh on her, saying his presidency “unleashed a certain acrimony and some meanness” from some on the right.
“All of a sudden, I started getting—along with death threats—just really nasty, like, just venomous, definitely racist comments,” Hostin continued. “And I started taking Whoopi’s advice, which was I had to stop reading it. Because it started making my heart beat fast and it was really an uncomfortable space.”
Ana Navarro, frequent guest host, added that she’d also received a number of hateful messages, but that what she did enjoy about social media was the ability of viewers to hold her and the other co-hosts accountable.
“The View has incredibly loyal viewers, who remember!” she said. “Who keep you honest. They remember the stuff you said last month, they remember the stuff you said last year, so try to be a hypocrite and try to change, and you better give them an explanation!”
Whoopi Goldberg saw some of that accountability earlier this year after she incorrectly spoke about the Holocaust. Though she initially defended her statements, she quickly walked back the offensive statements and apologized. She was suspended from the show for two weeks as a result of a huge wave of backlash and outrage. The fans certainly don’t hesitate to tell the hosts exactly how they feel.