Blindsided. Nicolle Wallace was let go from The View just months after taking a seat at the table — taking her by surprise. The conservative commentator opened up to Variety about her time on the ABC daytime talk show, what her relationships with her co-hosts were really like behind the scenes, and how she found out that she wouldn't be coming back.
According to Wallace, producers were displeased that she didn't butt heads more with her co-hosts during the show's Hot Topic segments. But instead of receiving feedback and having time to approach the situation differently, she learned that she was fired from the press.
"I loved the job. I had no plans of quitting. I think I thought that I would learn somewhere other than Variety that I’d been fired. It shattered my naivete about television. Listen, it’s all fair. I wasn’t wronged by anybody. But I was surprised to learn in the press about their decision not to bring me back," Wallace, 43, said. "They never called me. The night your second story ran, they summoned my agent and told me they’d like to consider me for a contributor role, and they also made me an offer at ABC News to do the conventions and debates."
She added: "I had never had one note from anybody inside the entire organization during the entire season. No one said a word to me. Maybe I should have seen it coming. Not after a single show, a single Hot Topic, or a single interview. It was like being invisible. But not in an unpleasant way."
As for her co-hosts, Wallace was at ease — for the most part. She became especially close with Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie Perez. "Whoopi and I never separated. We’d show up, go to the meeting, stay in hair and makeup. Rosie Perez and I became equally close," she told Variety.
Her relationship with Rosie O'Donnell, however, was a different story. The comedian-actress announced her departure from The View in February, just five months after she'd made her return to the show. At the time, she was in the middle of a nasty split with her wife, Michelle Rounds.
"To my knowledge [we got along]. She was really intense, and that intensity could be really uncomfortable," Wallace said. "What transpired between us transpired on air. We had a combustible debate about torture. She had really combustible conversations about race. And listen, maybe this is where I failed in the eyes of the executives who hired me. Maybe this combustion is what they were seeking."
She added: "There were some extraordinary and dramatic moments during the Rosie O’Donnell part of the season. I don’t think she felt it was what she signed up for, so there was some exasperation."
As previously reported, ABC producers wanted a conservative like Wallace to fill the final spot on the show back in September 2014. But looking back, Wallace didn't realize she was perhaps being compared to Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who left the show for Fox News in 2013. (Hasselbeck often got into heated arguments with O'Donnell during the latter's first stint on the series between 2003 and 2014.)
"I like and respect Elisabeth Hasselbeck so much. I’m from a political party that represents half the country. I never really thought that anyone thought there was just one kind of Republican woman," Wallace said. "I never went to work and thought, 'How can I be more like Elisabeth?' It never crossed my mind that was the measure I was being held to."
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