Hosts of “The View” past and present came together to honor and remember the show’s creator Barbara Walters on Tuesday, kicking off the new year of shows. But, Rosie O’Donnell was missing from that group, and on Tuesday afternoon, she explained why.
Walters died at the age of 93 on Dec. 30, prompting an outpouring of love and memories for the journalist. She created “The View” back in 1997, explaining in its original opening credits that she’d always wanted to do “a show with women of different generations, backgrounds and views.” Walters served as a co-host on the show until 2014, making Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar the only current hosts to have worked with her on the show.
But, as former hosts like Meredith Viera, Star Jones and Sherri Shepherd appeared in person, via phone and via Zoom during Tuesday’s episode-long tribute, some fans couldn’t help but wonder why O’Donnell wasn’t among them. So, when one fan commented on a TikTok video of hers saying, “I looked for you on BW tribute today,” the former host explained that she was invited, but opted out.
“Yeah, they invited me, but I wasn’t able to make it,” O’Donnell said. “You know, I didn’t want to be in a big group of people and, I don’t know, I was worried that I would get upset and um, didn’t want to do that. So, there you go.”
O’Donnell’s tenure on the show was brief, as she guest hosted on the talk show for less than a year back in 2006 and 2007. Her short presence on the show was cut even shorter than it was supposed to be as a result of a massive argument O’Donnell had on-air with then-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
Since her exit, O’Donnell has long been outspoken about her experiences on the show and why she wouldn’t watch it or return to it.