HomeAmerican EntertainmentWhy Former ‘The View’ Host Rosie O’Donnell Missed Show’s Barbara Walters Tribute

Why Former ‘The View’ Host Rosie O’Donnell Missed Show’s Barbara Walters Tribute

by Shelby Scott
Rosie O'Donnell Performs Onstage in California
Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Just before the New Year, veteran journalist and creator of the long-running talk show The View Barbara Walters passed away at the age of 93. In the day since her death, various celebrities and former hosts have posted emotional tributes online. Rosie O’Donnell was one of them, captioning her own post about Walters, “Legend.” On Tuesday, the ladies of The View aired a special tribute to the late Barbara Walters and invited back some of the reporter’s former cohosts, including Rosie O’Donnell. O’Donnell, however, was not in attendance. A day later, the actress and comedian was transparent about why she really missed the tribute to Barbara Walters.

MSN reports that some of Rosie O’Donnell’s reps told some outlets that she had not attended the Barbara Walters tribute on The View due to a scheduling conflict. However, per her own account, the TV star admitted she did not attend for a much more personal reason.

“They invited me,” O’Donnell said, “but I wasn’t able to make it. She added, “I didn’t want to be in a big group of people.”

In a video that she shared that evening, she emotionally explained, “I don’t know, I was worried I would get upset and I didn’t want to do that. So, there you go.”

Per the news outlet, the intro to the meaningful Barbara Walters tribute began, “It’s her vision, her passion, her show, and today, The View remembers Barbara Walters.”

The artfully crafted introduction prefaced the arrival of The View‘s hosts, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines, and Alyssa Farah Griffin.

‘The View’ Host Joy Behar Reflects on Barbara Walters as a Role Model

Though Barbara Walters inspired Rosie O’Donnell during her time on the show, the late journalist went on to become a role model for dynamic women around the globe. She worked closely with current The View host Joy Behar for nearly two decades. They hosted the popular talk show side by side from its debut in 1997 to 2013 which is when Behar was first fired from the show. Walters retired a year later. Given the longevity of their partnership, Behar spoke about how the veteran journalist and television icon blazed a trail for like-minded professional women.

“She’s very much the role model for a lot of people in showbiz and the news world for sure,” Behar gushed. “She had a work ethic you couldn’t deny.”

Remembering the late journalist during The View‘s Barbara Walters tribute, Behar further said of Barbara Walters, “She very much defied sexism and defied ageism. She went right into the jaws of the lion … She started The View when she was 68 years old – very few people start a brand new career at 68.”

Alongside Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg also praised Walters. She said, “The industry had to respect her. She did not allow them not to respect her. There was nobody like her.”