Meghan McCain is revealing the REAL reason she left The View.
Back in June, John McCain’s daughter announced she would be leaving the venerated talk show after four years as a co-host. Her tenure was contentious, and despite being an anti-Donald Trump Republican, she still received a lot of backlash for her conservative views. And some of that backlash came from her co-hosts.
In her new memoir Bad Republican, excerpted by Variety, the 36-year-old explained in detail why she decided to walk away from the program, despite the fact that ABC “higher ups” were “trying to convince me to stay and finish out the two years left on my contract.” She cited a deteriorating relationship with Whoopi Goldberg as one factor in her decision, writing that the Oscar winner’s “open disdain” for her took a toll as it became “more difficult to manage as the years went on and it became more frequent.”
She felt her co-hosts (and other View staffers) got “meaner and less forgiving” during the Trump era, as if they were taking out “all their anger on me” for being the resident Republican — even though the controversial president frequently attacked her father. Though she felt her perspective was valuable to the show (crediting her participation for bolstering ratings and gaining them an Emmy), she felt “punished and singled out” for her political views.
But after having her first child, Liberty, the 36-year-old could no longer stomach “the deal with the devil I knowingly made” in exchange for the major public platform of a hit TV show. She was dealing with severe postpartum anxiety, which worsened when she returned to work:
“As I was dealing with my own emotions, I couldn’t also navigate the idea that I was hated and felt hated at a toxic work environment. The second that feeling set in, it started to snowball into me thinking that everyone hated me. And because of that, I was worried even more that someone would steal or kidnap my child — as a way of hurting me. It wasn’t rational; I know that. But it was the medical diagnosis I was going through.”
But one moment stood out in her decision to leave the daytime drama behind. She recalled:
“On my second day back, as I was still getting my sea legs back and adjusting to my new schedule and life between breast-pumping and researching for my hot topics, Joy [Behar] and I began squabbling a bit about the state of the Democratic Party on air. To make light of things and to ease the tension, I said, ‘Joy, you missed me so much when I was on maternity leave! You missed fighting with me!’
‘I did not,’ Joy said. ‘I did not miss you. Zero.’”
You can revisit the crucial interaction (below):
The moment hit harder than anything “anyone has ever said to me on camera since I have been giving interviews since I was 22 years old” and made her feel like she’d “been slapped.” The new momma felt like she deserved respect after just giving birth, feeling vulnerable during a time which should have been “sacred.” She wrote:
“Until that moment, it hadn’t even occurred to me that Joy hadn’t missed me. She’d texted me to ask to see a baby picture of Liberty, and she’d seemed happy for me. We’d chatted in a friendly way. I believed that, despite all our differences, deep down, we had a mutual understanding of respect for each other.”
When the segment cut to commercial, the political commentator began “[uncontrollably] sobbing”:
“‘If you guys didn’t want me to come back, I wouldn’t have come back!’ I said to the producer in my earpiece. I told him he might need to pull my camera away for a minute because I wasn’t sure if I could get myself together in time to go back to interviewing people. I felt my boobs begin to leak from lactation. I was embarrassed and shaking. I felt like I wasn’t in control of my body. I didn’t want millions of viewers to see that.”
The TV personality made it through the rest of the episode, but after filming she resumed crying and “threw up in the garbage can” in her office. In that moment, she decided the experience wasn’t “worth it” anymore:
“While I wept, I no longer felt safe working at The View. It is one of the most singular feelings of loneliness and anguish I have felt in my entire life. It was a perfect storm of hormones, postpartum anxiety and a lot of demons on The View coming out to bite me.”
Meghan later asked for, and was denied, a public apology from Joy, whom she never spoke with “one on one again after that day.” She felt the older woman intentionally attacked her when she was low, snarking, “[So] much for working moms looking out for each other.”
The author blamed ABC in part for not providing oversight to the juggernaut talk show, which created an environment where “the culture is so f**ked up, it feels like quicksand.” She became “paranoid that any interaction I had could be sold to the press or become fodder on Twitter” and no longer viewed the program as “a pro-women show.”
All of these feelings led to her ultimate decision to quit The View, a move which she felt her late father endorsed when she heard his favorite band, ABBA, on the radio the morning of her announcement. Reaffirming her support for paid family leave everywhere, she stated:
“[When] I went back to the show, I felt like I was being disingenuous. I thought of the press I would have to do next season, the junkets. It’s all about women supporting women. I didn’t want to lie anymore. I couldn’t. I couldn’t put on the happy face after what I went through. Unlike a lot of women my age with little kids, I can afford to leave a toxic workplace. This is the great luxury of my life — being able to get up and leave when I have had enough. I know that makes me extremely privileged. I feel heartsick for all women who feel trapped in places they can’t afford to leave.”
So there you have it: Meghan’s perspective on The View, in her own words. What do U think, Perezcious readers — did she make the right decision leaving after the disrespect? Or were her co-workers right to take her to task? Let us know your thoughts in the comments (below).
[Image via ABC/YouTube]