“I’m not renewing your contract,” Walters allegedly said — after Behar tried throwing Meredith Vieira under the bus.
Joy Behar was unceremoniously axed from “The View” in 2013 before returning two years later — but she almost lost her job a lot sooner after what she calls an “honest mistake.”
Sitting down with show alums Meredith Vieira, Star Jones and Debbie Matenopoulous from the upcoming “Behind the Table: A View Reunion” special, Behar claims she nearly got the axe from Barbara Walters herself back in 2006. At the time, she had accidentally let it slip that Rosie O’Donnell would be joining the show and Walters was not happy.
“Phone rings. ‘Hello, Joy? It’s Barbara.’ “I said, ‘Oh hi, Barbara!'” recalled Behar (via People), while claimed Barbara then said, “I just got a call from Entertainment Tonight and guess what they said? They said, ‘Oh, and Rosie O’Donnell’s coming on the show.’ And guess who told them?”
“I said ‘Meredith Vieira?'” Behar said, getting quite the shocked reaction out of Vieira herself — as Matenopoulous exclaimed, “She threw you under the bus!”
“I said, ‘Meredith Vieira?'” Behar continued. “[Walters] said, ‘No, you! Joy Behar did that. And I want you to know that I’m not renewing your contract.'” Joy said she pleaded her case, telling Walters she had simply made “an honest mistake” and joked, “You know how I am when I’m shopping!'”
Walters, however, wasn’t having it — and told Joy she was “a loose cannon” and said “I’m not renewing your contract.” Behar tried to say it wasn’t “a big deal,” but said Barbara simply told her “No!” before hanging up on her.
Someone must have talked Walters off a ledge, because Behar stuck around until 2013.
“Somebody wanted me gone,” Behar previously told People of her exit. “It was not 100 percent my choice. When they told me they weren’t renewing, I said, ‘Good, I’m out of here.’ I didn’t like the way the show was going at that time.”
As for why her contract was not being renewed after being a staple on the show since 1997, Behar revealed to this day she’s unsure of production’s motivations.
“The way I heard it, and I don’t know what’s true because you never know, they got rid of a Republican so they wanted to get rid of a Democrat,” she said. “That’s not the first time I’ve been fired for my politics. So I wasn’t shocked at that analysis.”
After guest hosting spots on the show for two years, Behar returned to “The View” in 2015 as a full-time host. “I went back to do politics,” she said. “They told me, ‘It’s going to be smart, and we’re going to pay you more money.'”