And then there was one.
Abby Huntsman is leaving ABC’s daytime talk show The View to join her father’s gubernatorial campaign, but a tense relationship with co-host Meghan McCain and an overall “toxic” atmosphere in the studio were part of her decision, according to The Sun and PageSix. McCain will now be the only right-leaning panelist left on the show.
Huntsman’s last day at The View is Friday.
Huntsman leaves The View
Huntsman joined The View in 2018, becoming the second right-leaning on the mostly liberal show. The panelist announced Monday that she decided over the holiday break to join her father Jon Huntsman’s campaign for the governor’s seat in Utah.
“This is always such a hard thing to do… but today I’m saying goodbye,” Huntsman said. “My No. 1 priority has always been my family.”
“Today, I’m saying goodbye.”@HuntsmanAbby announces she is leaving @TheView to help run her father’s campaign for governor of Utah: “It’s not often in life that you get these moments to go fight for something that you are so passionate about.” https://t.co/VTJUxjEuW6 pic.twitter.com/XsGahw3VPc
— The View (@TheView) January 13, 2020
But a source told The Sun that Huntsman’s ouster was paved by conflicts with McCain, who has become known for her combative interactions with the show’s other panelists. By the time Huntsman decided to quit, even she was barely tolerating McCain.
A source told PageSix last week that Huntsman “doesn’t genuinely like her. Their friendship has soured.” Another said, “they aren’t speaking to each other. It’s been about a month. None of the ladies talk to Meghan now. Abby was the last woman standing. It’s bad. Meghan’s so rude.”
The two were friends on and off set, at least until recently, and like McCain, Huntsman hails from a prominent Republican family.
Her father, Jon Huntsman Jr., formerly served as President Trump’s ambassador to Russia, was the governor of Utah from 2005 to 2009, and was a failed candidate in the 2012 Republican presidential primary. In November, he announced that he would be campaigning for governor in 2020.
Despite having similar political beliefs, Huntsman and McCain got into a spat recently over John Bolton and his possible testimony in Trump’s impeachment trial. McCain skewered Bolton for his support of regime change wars and dismissed the idea that he suddenly “grew a conscience…maybe I’ve been in politics too long,” prompting Huntsman to fire back, “Well, I’ve also been in politics. [It’s] my upbringing too, and a lot of people have been around politics or know politics, whether you have family or not…This show is about opinions.”
“Toxic” culture at studio
The problem may not be McCain necessarily, but a “toxic” environment that Huntsman found intolerable, PageSix reported. A source told the outlet that ABC treated Huntsman “like s–t” and that she complained about the work culture at the studio to management.
Despite the rumored tensions, McCain wished Huntsman all the best in the next chapter in her career: “I am heartbroken you’re leaving. I’m so proud of you and I’m so happy for you,” McCain said on Monday’s episode.