In my four years there, I was the target of plenty of shade — too much to even begin to recount — and then I also experienced more toxic, direct and purposeful hostility.
When I first joined “The View” in 2017, I felt a connection to Whoopi. She had made a promise to my father that she would look after me, and she kept her word for the first two years that I was on the show. The thing about Whoopi, though, is that she yields so much power in culture and television, and once she turns on you, it can create unfathomable tension at the table. I found her open disdain for me more and more difficult to manage as the years went on and it became more frequent. Occasionally, if the show’s political discourse veered into territory that she found disagreeable, Whoopi would cut me off, sometimes harshly. Once, in the middle of a heated debate on live TV, Whoopi singled me out and said, “Girl, please stop talking right now.” It instantly trended on Twitter. And it really hurt. Another time she answered something I said by blurting out “O.K.” in a tone that declared she was both baffled and disgusted by what I had just said. This reaction also went viral and left a scar on our relationship. Day after day, week after week, these things take a toll.
You can’t imagine how it messes with your self-esteem working in an environment where the worst thing you can be in the world is a Republican during the Trump years. As the country got worse under Trump, the treatment from Whoopi, Joy and some of the staff grew meaner and less forgiving. It was as if I had become an avatar for everything they hated about the president. It felt like the co-hosts and staff only knew one Republican — me — and took out all their anger on me, even though I didn’t even vote for Trump.