In her decade-long tenure on The View from 2003 to 2013, former co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was no stranger to controversy, often due to her far-right leaning political views, which caused her to butt heads with her fellow panelists. But what most people don’t know is that Hasselbeck came very close to quitting in 2006 over an on-air spat with Barbara Walters, which led to some fairly explosive behind the scenes theatrics.
The topic of conversation on that particular day was a proposal by the FDA to sell the morning-after pill as an over-the-counter drug. Hasselbeck was naturally not a fan of the idea, as she believes life begins at conception, and got perhaps a bit too worked up about it. Walters attempted to diffuse the situation by telling Hasselbeck to calm down, emphasizing that they “need to learn how to discuss these sort of things in some sort of rational way.”
Suffice to say, that did not sit well with Hasselbeck, who proceeded to rip up her note cards and storm off stage. The encounter is detailed in a new book called Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, and Variety subsequently obtained audio footage of the ensuing meltdown, which went as follows.
“F— that!” Hassselbeck screamed in a narrow corridor behind the stage, according to an audio tape of the exchange. “I’m not going to sit there and get reprimanded on the air. It’s not ok to sit there and get reprimanded on the air.”
“Come into my office here,” Behar said, trying to calm her down.
“What the f—!” Hasselbeck yelled back. “I don’t even swear. She has me swearing. This woman is driving me nuts. I’m not going back. I can’t do the show like this. She just reprimanded me, and she knew exactly what she was doing. Good-bye! I’m off. Write about that in the New York F—ING Post!”