Bye-Bye Rosie,...Hello, Sanity!
NEW YORK — Rosie O'Donnell will not be back on "The View," ABC announced Friday, two days after she and co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck got into a huge political dust-up live on the talk show.
"We had hoped that Rosie would be with us until the end of her contract three weeks from now, but Rosie has informed us that she would like an early leave. Therefore, we part ways, thank her for her tremendous contribution to 'The View' and wish her well," Brian Frons, the president of Disney-ABC's Daytime Television Group, said in a statement.
After a colorful eight months on the show, punctuated by her feud with Donald Trump and frequent flare-ups with the more conservative Hasselbeck, O'Donnell's contract had been set to terminate on June 22.
"I brought Rosie to the show. Rosie contributed to one of our most exciting and successful years at 'The View.' I am most appreciative. Our close and affectionate relationship will not change," said show creator Barbara Walters.
"I'm extremely grateful. It's been an amazing year and I love all three women," O'Donnell said in a statement.
O'Donnell, who lifted ratings for the sagging talk show, said last month she would be leaving because she could not agree to a new contract with ABC executives.
Watching O'Donnell and Hasselbeck squabble on "The View" is nothing new, but Wednesday's brawl seemed particularly nasty with the co-hosts trading accusations and personal digs.
Video: Rosie vs. Elisabeth
A political discussion over the war in Iraq became heated when an angry O'Donnell decried Hasselbeck for not standing up for her when media outlets suggested that she'd called U.S. troops "terrorists" during a previous debate.
The argument with Hasselbeck began over O'Donnell's statement last week about the war: "655,000 Iraqi civilians have died. Who are the terrorists?"
Talk show critics accused O'Donnell of calling U.S. troops terrorists. She called Hasselbeck "cowardly" for not saying anything in response to the critics.
"What you did was not defend me. ... I asked you if you believed what the Republican pundits were saying — you said nothing, and that's cowardly," O'Donnell said.
"Do not call me a coward, because No. 1, I sit here every single day, open my heart and tell people what I believe," Hasselbeck retorted, and their riveting exchange continued despite failed attempts by their co-hosts to cut to a commercial.
O'Donnell and Hasselbeck were shown on a split screen as the argument progressed without commercial interruption.
"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.
Responded Hasselbeck: "Because you are an adult, and I am certainly not going to be the person for you to explain your thoughts. They're your thoughts! Defend your own insinuations!"
O'Donnell said she wasn't going to fight anymore. "So for three weeks, you can say all the Republican crap you want."
Hasselbeck discussed the war of words in an interview with syndicated entertainment show "Extra."
"I honestly think, I believe that we are mature women who can resolve," she said. "I hope we can. I would hope that a disagreement or a heated debate wouldn't be the end of a relationship."
In a posting on her blog, O'Donnell wrote: "a split screen, new heights, or lows, depending on who u ask."
According to a New York Post report, O'Donnell's chief writer, Janette Barber, was allegedly led out of the building on Wednesday after she was caught drawing mustaches on photographs of Hasselbeck in "The View" studios.
On Thursday O'Donnell had asked for a day off to celebrate her partner's birthday. "The View" aired a taped show on Friday.
On her Web site, O'Donnell posted a scrapbooklike video on Friday with pictures and news clippings of her tenure at "The View." Cyndi Lauper's "Sisters of Babylon" played in the background.
A day earlier, she posted messages on her Web site indicating she might not be back.
"When painting there is a point u must step away from the canvas as the work is done," she wrote. "Any more would take away."
The TrekMedic muses:
I guess we won't have Rosie to kick around anymore. Which is pretty good, considering that it would probably break your foot, but,..whateva,....
Semi-related story here