‘The View’: Why Was Original Panelist Debbie Matenopoulos Fired From the Show?

by Shelby Scott

The View debuts its 26th season next month and welcomes back returning panelists Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sarah Haines, and Sunny Hostin as well as its two newest hosts, Alyssa Farah Griffin and Ana Navaro. However, long before The View featured this dynamic and opinionated group of “gutsy” women, the show launched with Barbara Walters, Star Jones, and Debbie Matenopoulos at the helm. Matenopoulos, one of the daytime talk show’s original panelists, didn’t boast a very long reign though. The View first aired in 1997, but by 1999, Matenopoulos was sent packing. Decades later, we’re taking a look at why.

Debbie Matenopoulos is one of the most pivotal panelists to ever feature on The View. Above all else, MSN reports that the now-47-year-old TV star became the youngest daytime talk show host in history when star and producer Barbara Walters selected her as a panelist in 1997.

Recalling that peak experience, Matenopoulos previously said, “That was life-altering and nothing I expected at that time. I said, ‘Are you out of your mind? Barbara Walters is going to want me to go work for her?! You must be crazy!'”

Someone must have thought so because just two years after she became the youngest daytime TV talk show host at 22 years old, she was fired. Finally, we know why. And the answer isn’t as juicy as you may have hoped.

Debbie Matenopoulos Was Fired From ‘The View’ Due to Ratings

Since having been fired from The View in 1999, Debbie Matenopoulos has made peace with her termination. However, still, she harbors negative feelings toward some individuals on the show who once treated her cruelly.

Recalling the heart-shattering moment that she was fired, the former panelist said, “I remember sitting there and all the blood rushing out of my head.”

She detailed her train of thought at the time, “I screwed this up so bad. All I wanted to do was be good for them. Of course, I cried. I was so sad. These people were my friends. Here’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and I blew it.”

Per the news outlet, however, it wasn’t up to her costars as to whether or not she was fit for the show. Instead, we now know Debbie Matenopoulos was fired simply due to ratings. The View‘s former executive producer, Bill Geddie, explained, “The audience just didn’t like Debbie. The older people were okay with her. They thought she was an idiot, but it was funny. Younger people didn’t see themselves in Debbie.”

As we can see, then, it was the at-home audience, not her fellow panelists on The View, that influenced her termination. Still, the former host aired some of her grievances about the situation’s management.

“Let’s just say I wasn’t properly treated,” The View host said. “Those people who were tremendously cruel to me know who they are.”