Jenny McCarthy Claims Barbara Walters Would Force Her to Change Clothes and Cover Up on 'The View'

Jenny McCarthy opened up about her 2013 to 2014 stint on The View, calling it "miserable"


Jenny McCarthy has shared an embarrassing revelation about her 2013-2014 stint on The View, revealing Barbara Walters constantly scrutinized her clothes.

“If she didn’t agree with it, or it didn’t complement her outfit, I had to change,” McCarthy, 46, claims in an excerpt published Wednesday by Vulture from reporter Ramin Setoodeh’s upcoming book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of “The View.”

The MTV alumna went on to explain that during her brief time as a panelist on the talk show she switched her outfits at least 50 times.

McCarthy claims nearly anything she wore would set Walters, who launched the talk show in 1997, off — recounting once instance, in which she decided to wear a summer dress on a cold day.

“What the hell are you wearing?” McCarthy says Walters, 89, asked her about a sleeveless outfit.

“Mind you, she doesn’t look at anyone’s clothes but mine,” McCarthy says. “I’d go ‘Barbara, you’re wearing your own clothes.”

“Stores right now have the spring collection. There’s nothing I can do,” McCarthy says she told Walters, reminding her that her clothes were pulled by a stylist.

“Change!” Walters shouted, McCarthy claims.

“I always had to put on a sweater,” McCarthy says. The Masked Singer judge also alleges that Walters later “wanted to start dressing like me.”

“There were times when she’d say change, and she’d make people run out and get that dress in her size. I was a human Barbie doll.”

Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty

McCarthy says things for her got so bad that she began avoiding Walters.

“When I’d hear the shuffle of her feet, I knew that Barbara was after me,” McCarthy recalls. “It would get faster. Oh my God — she’s coming! Based on the speed of the shuffle, I would hide or get on the phone.”

According to McCarthy, she took the job expecting to bring some humor to the Hot Topics segment and even turned down an opportunity with CBS for her own daytime talk show. Replacing Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, McCarthy intended to provide pop culture expertise as the show veered away from politics.

McCarthy tells Setoodeh that after she started at The View, she began wondering which version of Walters she’d see every day at the studio: “Hopefully, I get the Barbara Walters who is nice,” she recalls telling herself.

“You know the movie Mommie Dearest?” I remember as a child watching that movie and going, ‘Holy cow!’ ” McCarthy says of the biographical drama about Joan Crawford’s allegedly abusive relationship with her adopted daughter, Christina Crawford.

“I’ve never seen a woman yell like that before until I worked with Barbara Walters,” she adds.

McCarthy also says Walters, then 83 and approaching her final year on the show, wasn’t ready to let go.

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“Imagine a woman like Barbara Walters,” McCarthy says. “It’s her last year and she doesn’t want to leave. Think about that. And I’m the new bitch there.”

McCarthy claims that Walters would forget who the celebrities being discussed on the show were, such as Katy Perry. McCarthy says she was told they couldn’t “do pop culture anymore because [Walters] doesn’t know who the people are” and that she was instructed to tackle politics instead.

“I panicked because I don’t consider myself a political person,” she says. “Now I had to figure out, ‘Am I coming out as a Republican or a Democrat? Where do I stand on all the social issues and political issues?’ “

McCarthy says she became increasingly unhappy as the show swiveled back to politics.

“I was going to work crying. I couldn’t be myself,” she says. “My fans were telling me, ‘Where’s Jenny? They aren’t letting you be you.’ “

Still, she admits to feeling sympathetic for the longtime host.

“Look at what Barbara did to me. I had zero hard feelings,” she says. “I loved her like a grandma. She didn’t know any better.”

A representative for The View did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment. Walters has not commented on the claims.

Walters started her TV career was a writer and researcher on the Today show in 1961, quickly working her way up from a soft-news “Today Girl” to a celebrated interviewer, becoming the NBC show’s first female co-host in 1974. She moved to ABC and launched the female-centric View in 1997 and has long been open about facing sexism in her career.

The View airs weekdays (11 a.m. ET) on ABC.

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