The View, and ABC by extension, is a fucking mess, that much is clear. But a new interview with recently fired co-host Nicolle Wallace in Variety makes it clear exactly how much of an embarrassment this show—and network—has become.
In the interview with the outlet that broke the news to both her and the world that she wouldn’t be returning to her job, Wallace sounds calm and collected, if smartly critical of how both the show and ABC have failed in the past few years. It’s a classic case of terrible management practices.
Wallace says that before she was brought on, she’d done one rehearsal (“Presidents practice more than that to throw out a pitch at a minor-league all-star game”). That being said, she loved the women she worked with, especially Whoopi Goldberg (who defended her when Variety’s story came out, implying she was not being fired) and Rosie Perez, the latter of whom is also not returning to The View: “Their friendship got me through the final five weeks, which were not how I expected it to end.”
I think I thought that I would learn somewhere other than Variety that I’d been fired. It shattered my naivete about television. Listen, it’s all fair. I wasn’t wronged by anybody. But I was surprised to learn in the press about their decision not to bring me back.
Wallace is smart about the world of television; she knows it’s cutthroat. But her comments about how little feedback she got from ABC about things she could do to improve before they randomly decided to go in a different direction make them sound like chickens running around with their heads cut off. Which, given the ups and downs the show has taken since Barbara Walters left (the show was moved from ABC’s Daytime division to the News division, and has seen a few producers and showrunners cycle through in the past couple years, as ABC’s leadership has shifted too), is an apt metaphor.
Had they given any indication they were unhappy with your performance?
I had never had one note from anybody inside the entire organization during the entire season. No one said a word to me. Maybe I should have seen it coming. Not after a single show, a single Hot Topic or a single interview. It was like being invisible. But not in an unpleasant way.
Wallace says ABC never called to tell her she was fired, but that after Variety’s story came out, “they summoned my agent and told me they’d like to consider me for a contributor role, and they also made me an offer at ABC News to do the conventions and debates.” She declined, and will be moving back to MSNBC to work as a contributor instead, which, given the fact that was the rare rational and smart voice on The View, is probably a better fit for her.
When asked about new conservative voice Candace Cameron Bure’s role on the show, Wallace said, “I asked her once about politics and she said she’s just becoming more interested in politics.” Oh, good! So, basically a variation on Jenny McCarthy, who also was picked up and quickly dropped.
The interview leaves you feeling sure that Wallace is better off without this show, which probably becomes increasingly more painful for Barbara Walters to read about and watch as time goes on. On Bure, for instance, Wallace offers up the ultimate jab.
I think she’ll be great. The one thing I think that is the most important to your success is the support of executives you work for, and she has that.
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