‘The View’: Joy Behar Discusses the Moment Barbara Walters Fired Her

by Taylor Cunningham

Joy Behar has been a longstanding regular on The View since its debut, but there was a brief time when her tenure with the talk show came to an end. And according to Behar, it was all over “an honest mistake.”

In a preview of Behind the Table: A View Reunion shared by People, Behar recalled the day that she almost got the ax. The incident happened back in 2006, just before Rosie O’Donnell joined the TV panel.

Apparently, the new addition was supposed to be a surprise. But Behar wasn’t fully aware of that. And she let the news slip. Shortly after she did, Behar got a call from an angry Barbara Walters. And she was “stunned” by the reaction.

“Phone rings. ‘Hello, Joy? It’s Barbara,'” Behar said in the clip. “I said, ‘Oh hi, Barbara!'”

“I just got a call from Entertainment Tonight and guess what they said? They said, ‘Oh, and Rosie O’Donnell’s coming on the show.’ And guess who told them?”

Joy Behar was completely unaware that Walters, who created The View, was angry. So she proceeded to make some jokes about the slip with moderator, Meredith Vieira, and her two fellow panelists, Debbie Matenopoulous and Star Jones.

“Meredith Vieira?” she joked to Walters, which caused her colleagues to laugh and join in on the fun.

“She threw you under the bus!” Matenopoulous laughed at an amused but shocked Vieira.

“I said, ‘Meredith Vieira?'” Behar replied again. “[Walters] said, ‘No, you! Joy Behar did that. And I want you to know that I’m not renewing your contract.'”

Barbara Walters Fired Joy Behar For Being ‘a Loose Cannon’

The response completely blindsided Behar, who then tried to smooth over Walters. Behar explained to her boss that telling the world about O’Donnell was “an honest mistake,” and then attempted to make her laugh with a personal joke.

“You know how I am when I’m shopping!” she said on the phone.

But despite her attempts at charm and remorse, Barbara Walters wasn’t having it. She was determined that Behar couldn’t be trusted and she had to go.

 “‘You’re a loose cannon,” she continued, and I’m not renewing your contract.”

“I said, ‘Barbara, come on! It’s like, no big deal here,” Behar continued.

But that was that. And for a short time, Joy Behar lost her spot on The View’s panel, though she never actually missed episodes over the debacle.

“No!” Walter’s shouted as she hung up the phone. “For a minute, I was stunned,” Behar said. “I was like, ‘Really? For that?'”

Obviously, Barbara Walters and Joy Behar found a way to make amends. Sixteen years later, Behar still has a spot on the show. And she seems to be doing just fine with her boss.

You can learn exactly how the situation worked out by watching Behind the Table: A View Reunion, which recants many stories of the series’ 25 years on the air. The special dropped today on Hulu.