Hot on the heels of former The View co-host Jenny McCarthy’s headline-making thoughts on working with Barbara Walters is another revelation about the show. Another feud was going down between another co-host and the director. The behind-the-scenes row between Rosie O'Donnell and then-director Mark Gentile is now getting a spotlight thanks to a new book. It allegedly even got so bad HR became involved.
Telling her side of the story in the new book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of “The View,” Rosie O’Donnell explains her issues with The View director. She asserts that it was due to what she considered to be Mark Gentile’ "incompetence" (via Huffington Post). However, insiders at the talk show told the book’s author a different story.
They state that Rosie O’Donnell went after the director because he had previously turned down an offer from her. That offer was reportedly made when O’Donnell was hosting her own daytime talk show. She later joined The View when he was the show’s director.
The book details multiple instances of Rosie O’Donnell zeroing in on the director, allegedly with “criticism and abuse.” According to insider claims, at the time, Mark Gentile was carrying on an extra-marital affair with a staffer at The View that was treated as an open secret.
The affair was something Rosie O’Donnell would seize on, according to the book. In one instance, O’Donnell is said to have asked the producer Mark Gentile was having the affair with an explosive question during a meeting with other staffers. She asked if Mark Gentile was the father of the baby the woman was holding.
After more than one incident, the director along with two other employees at The View lodged an HR complaint against Rosie O’Donnell. No action was taken on it. Despite all of the allegations against O’Donnell, it did not stop ABC from bringing her back.
Rosie O’Donnell joined The View in 2006. She left in 2007. Seven years later in 2014, Disney-ABC Television’s then-president Anne Sweeney, recruited O’Donnell for a second stint. O’Donnell reprised her role as co-host in 2014. She left again a year later in 2015. O’Donnell cited the toll the show was taking on her health as the reason.
For her part, Rosie O’Donnell said she does not understand why the director went to HR, wondering if it was because she told people he had fathered a child outside of his marriage.
In the end, things became so volatile between the pair that Mark Gentile decided to try avoiding her. Whenever she entered the studio, he left. Gentile was not around during Rosie O’Donnell’s second run on The View. For its part, the show seems to be in a happier spot these days. It recently welcomed back co-host Whoopi Goldberg via a joyous reception.
New episodes of The View air weekday mornings at 11:00 a.m. ET on ABC.