After four years of being the lone conservative contrarian on The View, and being at the centre of many controversies, Meghan McCain shocked viewers on Thursday by announcing that she has decided to leave the popular daytime political talk show.
"I'm just going to rip the bandaid off," McCain said at the top of the show. "I am here to tell all of you, my wonderful cohorts and viewers at home: This is going to be my last season here at The View."
Noting that the end of the current season, which wraps up at the end of July, will mark the end of her tenure, she said that her main reason for leaving involved the way COVID has changed the course of her life, including how she wants to raise her young daughter Liberty.
"This was not an easy decision," she told viewers. "It took a lot of thought and counsel and prayer, and talking to my family and my close friends, and, you know, look — COVID has changed the world for all of us and it changed the way, at least for me, the way I am looking at life, the way I'm living my life, the way I want my life to look like."
Adding that she moved to Washington, DC during the pandemic (where she remotely films her hosting duties), she continued, “I have this really wonderful life here that ultimately, I didn't want to leave," later calling the show "one of the greatest" privileges of her life.
She also noted that her father, the late Republican senator John McCain, was the one who encouraged her to join the show in the first place, praising Meghan's soon-to-be onscreen opponent Whoopi Goldberg.
"He said that I could never give up an opportunity to work on such an iconic show and to work with Whoopi Goldberg — and he was right," she said. "It was one of the last things he told me to do before he died."
Meghan has been at the centre of a few controversies on The View over the course of her co-hosting duties, including recently when she used the racist and inaccurate term "China virus" to refer to COVID-19 amid the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and the terrorist attack in Atlanta. Public figures using racist language to refer to COVID is one of the main sources stoking the rise of anti-Asian racism. She was forced to apologize for her past comments.
After announcing her departure, co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Sara Haines all praised Meghan, despite past clashes and conflict which made the show wildly popular and a ratings hit.
Joy, who had previously said she didn’t miss Meghan when she was away on vacation, now said, "You and I have had our disagreements, we've had our fights, we also had some drinking moments which were rather fun and interesting.”
"I have to say that what we have in common — as do all of us here — is that we're on a show where we stick our necks out, we take the blowback. We take a lot of hits on this show and we stick to our points of view. You have done that brilliantly for four years."
"I hope that you can say that I did the same thing," Joy continued. "I really, really appreciated the fact that you were a formidable opponent in many ways, and that you spoke your mind — and you're no snowflake, missy."
While she said some nice things, obviously, the viewers caught Joy's facial reaction when Meghan said she wouldn't be leaving until July and... it's definitely not as positive.
Whoopi praised late senator McCain for encouraging Meghan to take the role.
"It's been quite wonderful to sit across from you. 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, which was, you know, this wonderful baby you were going to have and his departure," Whoopi said with a smile. "So it was an honour when he said, 'Please take my child.'"
Before the emotional segment was over, Meghan made sure to use the time to call out the deep misogyny and sexism that abounds when the media criticizes or refers to The View.
"The media needs to do a better job of covering the women on this show in general," McCain said. "As Joy pointed out, it is not a fair fight — we are covered with deep misogyny and sexism by the media."
"If five men were doing what we do every day, I really do believe that we'd probably have a Pulitzer Prize at this point," she continued. "And it's always reduced to really reductive coverage, and I implore the media to do better as they cover the rest of you going forward."
News of her departure has divided Twitter, which was flooded with polarizing opinions about the outspoken host.
No matter where Meghan goes next, we’re sure she will rock the boat.
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