When reports of a potential departure from The View began to circulate online, many believed that Meghan McCain would be the one making an exit.
It would make sense considering her constant complaints about how underserved her conservative views are on the show. She also has been seen to have a tumultuous relationship with her cohosts.
Monday morning proved that not to be the case. Abby Huntsman announced her departure from the daytime talk show that she’s been a part of since 2018. Abby, whose last day is Friday, said she’d be moving on from the show to support her father’s gubernatorial run.
Jon Huntsman, who served as Utah’s governor from 2005 to 2009, announced plans last year to run for the office again this November.
Sources close to The View are saying that there’s more to it than Abby’s letting on. In fact, the sources have told CNN Business that Meghan and her behavior played quite a role in Abby’s decision to leave the show.
Abby Huntsman is leaving The View after nearly two years on the show. Abby joined the panel in September 2018. At the beginning of Monday’s episode, she announced that this would be her final week on the show.
“This is always such a hard thing to do,” Abby began her announcement. “And especially this table because this is a really special table. The most iconic show I think on television and the smartest women that I’ve ever worked with. But today I’m saying goodbye.”
Abby went on to explain that she learned a lot from the ladies about the importance of family. While she expressed her gratitude for being part of the show during these years, she decided to help her father in his gubernatorial campaign. Jon Huntsman is running for governor of Utah in a primary this June.
While there’s no doubt Abby will be working on the campaign, sources behind the scenes are saying more played into Abby’s decision to leave. At least six separate sources spoke with CNN Business about Abby’s treatment by both the network and cohost Meghan McCain. Neither Abby nor Meghan have commented on the rumors of a strained relationship between them.
Abby and Meghan, both from political families, got along great initially. An argument between the women that reportedly had to do with Abby’s enthusiastic discussion of her children on-air sparked the discord. Meghan reportedly felt it insensitive toward her fertility struggles for Abby to so frequently discuss her children.
The disagreement reportedly led to a confrontation between the two women after filming an episode one day. Since then, things have not been the same. “Abby was sick of being berated by Meghan for perceived slights,” one of the people said. “She ultimately decided she didn’t need this job and it wasn’t worth it.”
Three of the sources have noted that the women had made amends since the argument. It wasn’t just Meghan, however. Page Six reports Abby had had enough of trying to convince executives to do something about the environment at the show.
“It’s an unhealthy environment — just the way that things are handled during shows and how people deal with each other,” the source, who is close to Abby, noted. “It’s intense.”
“Abby made an issue [to executives] about the overall environment. She’s felt for a while that things had to change.”
In a note to the show’s staff, Abby expressed gratitude. “You know I think the world of all of you,” she wrote, in part. “You’re some of the most talented, hard-working and genuine people I’ve ever worked with. The staff is the engine of the show and you never get enough credit for what you do.”
“I applaud you and thank you for welcoming me to the family on day-one,” she continued. “You always made me look much better than I ever could have on my own. Thank you for believing in me and for all the laughs along the way.”
An ABC spokesperson spoke to CNN Business about the rumors surrounding the departure. “We have an incredible panel of smart, dynamic women at The View, who bring tremendous passion and a strong point of view to the show every day,” the spokesperson noted.
“They can discuss difficult issues and debate both sides fiercely and then agree to disagree and return to the table for the next hot topic.”
The spokesperson also noted how part of the job is honest communication, and therefore there will be occasional disagreements between hosts. They did not acknowledge an escalation in those disagreements in recent years, however.
“There has always been a fascination with the behind-the-scenes at the show since the show began, but they do a tough job by going out there every day to share their opinions and beliefs on live TV,” the spokesperson noted.
The remaining cohosts of The View are Whoopi Goldberg, Meghan McCain, Joy Behar, and Sunny Hostin. A replacement for Abby has not been announced. Some fans have floated Ana Navarro as a possible replacement.
It will be interesting to see a new host come in at this point in the show. They’re no small shoes to fill, as the show rakes in 2.5 million viewers each day. As one of daytime’s hottest shows, it will be fascinating to watch the latest shift in dynamic.