Barbara Walters insisted on Monday that Elisabeth Hasselbeck will not be leaving "The View," following earlier reports that the co-host was departing the show.
A number of outlets reported on Friday that Hasselbeck's contract would not be renewed. The reason, according to the reports, was that Hasselbeck's conservative views were clashing with the audience. The rumors emerged on Friday, one day after Joy Behar announced that she was leaving the show after sixteen years. On Monday, Walters addressed the story, saying:
There is a particularly false story getting picked up about Elisabeth's alleged departure, saying that we don't approve of her conservative views. The truth is, we love Elisabeth. I like her personally and she's just a wonderful person. But beyond that we value and appreciate her point of view. It's important to us because Elisabeth helps give this show perspective and balance. ...We have no plans for Elisabeth to leave this show. Having said that to all of you, Bill and I have always said that when one of you makes the choice to leave, that's your choice and we will support your decision. But right now, the only person who cannot leave the show is me.
She also addressed Behar's departure, saying that it will be "bittersweet." Walters said that Behar has been a co-host since the start of the show.
"I don't like my jobs to last longer than my marriages," Behar joked.
"I want what's best for you. I want what's best for all of you," Walters said, adding that she will miss Behar.
Behar will be leaving when her contract expires in August. “It seemed like the right time,” she told Deadline last week. “You reach a point when you say to yourself, ‘Do I want to keep doing this?’ There are other things on my plate I want to do — I’ve been writing a play, I’ve been neglecting my standup.”