Still cringing! Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck probably don’t keep in touch — and for good reason. The former View cohosts often bickered on the daytime talk show, most memorably duking it out about the Iraq war during an episode on May 23, 2007, which continues to go down in history as one of the biggest TV feuds ever. Relive the blowout moment in the video above!
Current and former View cohosts looked back at the epic moment in honor of its 20th anniversary and the upcoming ABC News primetime special, The View: 20 Years in the Making.
As loyal viewers remember, the battle began when noted liberal O’Donnell, 54, called conservative Hasselbeck, 39, “cowardly” and took her to task for not defending her when outlets accused the comedian of calling U.S. troops terrorists. The fight got so intense that producers made a split screen on the spot.
“You are my friend since September. Do you believe that I think our troops are terrorists? And you would not even look me in the face, Elisabeth, and say, ‘No, Rosie,'” O’Donnell said at the time. “Every time I defend [my opinions], it’s poor little Elisabeth that I’m picking on.”
Hasselbeck replied: “Do not call me a coward because, number one, I sit there every single day and open my heart to tell people exactly what I believe.”
“I said to Joy, ‘We should pretend like we’re walking out of here,’ and that’s exactly what we did,” Shepherd, 49, recalled, via ABC. “It allowed people to laugh,” she continued. “It allowed Rosie and Elisabeth to calm down for a moment during the commercial break. … Rosie said to me, ‘I want you to be on the show every day,’ and I said, ‘No, because y’all crazy. All of you are crazy.'”
“This was kind of personal, this conversation,” Behar, 73, added. “It became a big argument on the air, and then there was a split screen.”
Former Executive Producer Bill Geddie, who exited the series in 2014, chimed in: “It was a horrible day to be in The View studios.”
Still, the fight left an impression on audience members — even Michelle Collins, who would later join the panel in 2015. (The comedian was fired in June 2016 during one of the show’s many shakeups.)
“Don’t leave the room,” Collins advised fans if they ever see a split screen again. “Fireworks, anger, blood, it’s like Game of Thrones basically.”
Fighting might not be good for morale, but it does help in one very important aspect. “Feuds seemed to be fueling the ratings,” cocreator Barbara Walters said.
The View: 20 Years in the Making airs on Tuesday, August 23, on ABC at 10 p.m. ET.
Relive O’Donnell and Hasselbeck’s argument in the video above!
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