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Original The View Co-Host Says The Show Was Never Supposed To Get 'Political'

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(Image credit: ABC)

The View, as we know it nowadays, is defined by conversations that can quickly get heated between the panel of women or with the public itself. Notably, Meghan McCain's five-season stint on the daytime talk show as the conservative viewpoint (and one particularly heated spat with Joy Behar) eventually led to her exit, reportedly over a “toxic work environment” (in her words). And lately, even Whoopi Goldberg has rocked the boat with her remarks about the Holocaust, leading to a two-week suspension for her. According to one of the original co-hosts, though, the show was never supposed to get so “political.”

Debbie Matenopoulos, who starred on the ABC talk show for the first two seasons from 1997 to 1999, was famous for being the youngest castmate, starting at the age of 22. She was also famous for getting fired after massive criticisms were leveled at her age and opinions at the time. She has since moved on as correspondent for several outlets, including Insider and Entertainment Tonight. But apparently, the original View co-host doesn't like where the show has gone since her departure. She said on Allison Interviews,

The show has become super political now, but it wasn’t supposed to be political. It was just meant to be, 'Here’s your mom, your grandmother, your aunt, your cousin, your younger sister, all sitting there chatting about the same topic. And they are all going to have different ideas, because they are coming from different generations and different backgrounds.' It was about having a fun conversation and seeing where it comes out, and for all of us to learn from one another.

The former MTV production assistant added that her time on The View in the late '90s eventually became more than what even she bargained for. According to her, the hoopla about her “It Girl” lifestyle in New York was all just “nonsense” and a “mess.” Debbie Matenopoulos claimed that Barbara Walters was “embarrassed” by her and that her eventual firing was like a “public beheading.” She continued that the in-house fighting, which is now a given on the show, doesn't match her own personality, saying,

I am not a person that likes to fight. I am not a person that likes to make other people feel uncomfortable. I'm not a person that likes to debate just for the sake of debating, and that's kind of what that show had become. Like you were debating, but it wasn't like that at the beginning, I'm telling you.

A new co-host has yet to replace Meghan McCain’s seat at the iconic table following her exit last season. Several guest co-hosts have been semi-auditioning for the spot. Debbie Matenopoulos was rumored herself to be returning in an official capacity. She was cagey when she responded to the reports at the time, although she did admit “conversations” were happening with the network.

She did ultimately return as a guest-host for the 25th anniversary. It doesn't appear likely, however, that Debbie Matenopoulos will ever return full-time if she doesn't like “debating for the sake of debating.” Former View co-host Candace Cameron Bure outright denied suggestions of herself returning, explaining more later that the set-up of the show gave her PTSD.

Nevertheless, once you host The View, it seems you’ll never stop being part of their “debates” entirely, even years later. Even after controversy, Meghan McCain has her own thoughts on the current Whoopi Goldberg drama. The talk show continues to air Season 25 on weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on ABC, and there are plenty of other TV options in the 2022 TV schedule.

Lauren Vanderveen
Lauren Vanderveen

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.