The View’s Meghan McCain confirmed at the top of Thursday’s broadcast that at the end of July she will leave the show after four years.
“I’m just going to rip the band-aid off,” she declared. “I am here to tell all of you, my wonderful co-hosts and the viewers at home that this is going to be my last season here at The View.”
McCain went on to say the coronavirus pandemic had changed the “way I want my life to look like,” noting that she moved away from New York City to Washington, D.C. to have her first child there.
“I just have this really wonderful life here that ultimately I felt that I didn’t want to leave,” she added.
McCain also invoked her late father, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), noting that he had encouraged her to accept the opportunity to join the show in 2017.
She further praised her colleagues, especially her frequent sparring partner Joy Behar, letting her know that she would “even miss” her. On top of that, she acknowledged a friend and former host who left the show last year amid some reported drama.
“I also want to thank Abby Huntsman who was a good friend of mine, continues to be a good friend of mine, and has really helped me with many decisions and ushered me through this process,” McCain said.
She also noted that she would still be around for another month and that viewers should be prepared for more sparring sessions.
“So seriously, thank you from the absolute bottom of my heart, and I will still be here another month, so if you guys want to fight a little bit more, we have four more weeks,” the conservative host said.
From there, the other co-hosts would then pay a somewhat awkward tribute to her.
“It has been quite wonderful to sit across from you,” Whoopi Goldberg reacted. “Your dad was very smart. He wanted you to be here with us because I think he thought we could help toughen you up for what was coming.”
Sunny Hostin, meanwhile, said that McCain's father told her “to take it easy on Meghan” because she would “learn to love her and understand her,” adding that the two now talk every day on the phone.
Acknowledging their frequent on-air spats, Behar said that while they “have had our fights,” the two have also shared “some drinking moments which were rather fun and interesting.”
McCain wrapped the segment by taking a shot at the media over the way it has covered her and The View in recent years.
“The media needs to do a better job of covering the women on this show. We are covered with deep misogyny and sexism by the media,” she exclaimed. “If five men were doing what we do every day, I believe we would have a Pulitzer Prize at this point, and it’s always reduced to, you know, really reductive coverage, and I implore the media to do better as they cover the rest of you going forward.”
Prior to Thursday’s on-air announcement, The Daily Mail first reported that McCain had decided to leave the show after four contentious seasons. “We have tried to keep her, but she is adamant that now is the right time for her to leave,” a source told the tabloid. “She will finish at the end of July 2021.”
The Mail also reported that prior to Thursday’s announcement, the other View hosts were completely unaware that McCain was preparing to ditch the long-running ABC daytime talk show.
“For the past four years, Meghan McCain has brought her fierce determination and vast political knowledge and experience to The View,” ABC News said in a statement about McCain’s departure. “She recently came to us with her decision to depart the show at the end of this season, a difficult choice that she made for her and her family that we respect and understand. We wish the best for Meghan as she plans her next chapter, and thank her for the passion and unique voice that she shared with us and our viewers each day.”
The 36-year-old’s tenure on the show was marked by her frequent on-air clashes with her colleagues, particularly liberal co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg. Rarely a day has gone by where viewers weren’t inundated with Behar and McCain pelting each other with progressively nasty barbs.
Seeing her role as a referee, Goldberg has repeatedly butted heads with McCain, especially when the former Fox News personality either talks over her other colleagues or runs long with her tirades, prompting Goldberg to lash out in kind. (And, invariably, causing more tension on the set.)
The strain between McCain and the rest of the crew, though, hasn’t just been relegated to the airwaves.
Tensions were always reportedly high between McCain and her colleagues behind the scenes, with sources saying McCain helped perpetuate a “toxic culture” on the show. In one memorable instance, in 2018, Behar apparently threatened to quit during the middle of a show after she got into an intense on-air squabble with McCain.
“If this shit doesn’t stop I’m quitting this damn show,” Behar huffed, adding that she was at her “wits’ end with this entitled bitch.”
McCain and her co-hosts would regularly attempt to downplay the backbiting taking place on the show, despite the fact that behind-the-scenes struggles apparently resulted in Huntsman jumping ship in just her second season.
Prior to Hunstman’s departure in early 2020, she reportedly had a backstage blow-up with McCain, her longtime friend. Furthermore, Huntsman had grown upset with leaks to tabloid media about the internal squabbling on The View, as well as one particular leak that network executives were considering replacing Huntsman because she was “bland.”
And more recently, with a new ABC News chief in charge of The View, McCain has continued to lash out and complain about her treatment on the show. Following yet another sparring session with Behar in May, ABC News President Kim Godwin called a last-minute meeting with the show’s crew and demanded an end to the personal attacks.
McCain, however, reportedly stormed out of the meeting early because she felt that she was being unfairly attacked.
It remains to be seen where McCain will end up in the TV world. Prior to her run at The View, she was a contributor and fill-in host at Fox News, and before that she was an MSNBC analyst.