The View welcomed back plenty of former co-hosts for its Barbara Walters tribute special, but fans couldn’t help but notice that Rosie O’Donnell was missing. The comedian, who held brief stints on the panel from 2006-2007 and again from 2014-2015, has taken to social media to clear up why she didn’t participate in the episode, which honored Walters after her death last week at 93.
While a representative for O’Donnell had previously said she was on a plane and “couldn’t change her schedule,” per TV Line, the former host revealed that her reason for missing yesterday’s show was much deeper than that.
“Yeah, they invited me but I wasn’t able to make it,” she said in a TikTok video, before attributing her absence to her own emotions.
“You know, I didn’t want to be in a big group of people and I don’t know, I was worried I would get upset and didn’t want to do that,” O’Donnell said.
O’Donnell’s longtime friend Debi Mazar took to the comments section to seemingly diss The View and support the comedian’s decision to opt out of yesterday’s show.
“Mourning is personal&PRIVATE. A display for PR purposes is kind of vulgar in my opinion,” she wrote. “Barbara ADORED you. Remember when she came backstage after your wonderful performance in The Vagina Monologues? She came just for you.❤️ ”
O’Donnell first starred alongside Walters as a moderator on The View for eight months during the show’s tenth season before quitting shortly after getting into a heated debate with Republican co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck in 2007. She returned again in 2014, but her stint only lasted five months before she exited the show for the second time.
The tribute special to Walters aired on Tuesday, Jan. 3. It featured a slew of former co-hosts who spanned the journalist’s tenure on the show, including original members Star Jones, Meredith Vieira and Debbie Matenopoulos. Sherri Shepherd, Hasselbeck and Lisa Ling were also among the group of women invited back to share their memories of Walters.
The View airs on weekdays at 11/10c on ABC.
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