When Abby Huntsman, who was one of The View‘s conservative co-hosts along with Meghan McCain during her relatively brief 2018-20 tenure, announced her departure from the oftentimes controversial ABC daytime talk show, the former Fox News personality said it was because she wanted to join and assist the Utah gubernatorial race of her father Jon Huntsman.
Rumors quickly spread on social media that the real reason Huntsman was leaving the show was its much-discussed “toxic” workplace environment, a reason Huntsman now confirms as true.
In her new podcast called I Wish Somebody Told Me with friend, comedy writer and media producer Lauren Leeds, debuting today, Huntsman says she had decided to leave The View because the show’s workplace environment “did not reflect my values” and was “rewarding people for bad behavior.”
“I’m never going to write a tell-all book,” she says, but adds that the “executives in charge” had created an environment that “was all about money and the tabloids…You would see people act in ways that were not okay, that was very much part of the toxic environment of The View, and here we were going on the air criticizing others for toxic culture.”
Huntsman said she had already decided to leave the show when her father suggested she come to work for his political campaign, an offer that would make a convenient public excuse for leaving The View.
Huntsman – who does not name names in the podcast as to who she did and didn’t get on well with, though her falling out with old friend McCain was well documented at the time – said that after she made the announcement of her departure, a View producer asked that she read a statement on air denying media reports of a toxic workplace, a request she turned down.
As she was walking on the set for what would be the last time, having said she wouldn’t read the statement, a producer, she says, sent her a text reading, “That was a mistake.” Before the taping had concluded, Huntsman’s sister had emailed her a news article saying a source inside The View claimed that producers were going to fire Huntsman even before she announced her resignation.
“When I was walking out of the building that day, I was living again,” Huntsman says. “I could breathe and feel myself breathing. I was present and I hadn’t been present for the almost two years I was there.”
Hunstman’s podcast discussion follows by two weeks the release of McCain’s book Bad Republican in which the former co-host details her turbulent years on the show and her clashes with co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar.
Huntsman’s new podcast I Wish Somebody Told Me debuts today via Dear Media.