Abby Huntsman exits 'The View' to back dad's Utah governor bid amid 'baby fight' rumors with Meghan McCain
The 33-year-old announced she will be stepping down to dedicate herself full-time in support of her dad, John Huntsman Jr, in his run for Utah governor.
'The View' may have suffered a huge loss as Abby Huntsman announced her exit from the ABC daytime talk show after a year-and-a-half at the Hot Topics table. Bidding goodbye, Hunstman said in a statement, "ABC has been my family for a long time and I am so thankful to have had a seat at the table on an iconic show like 'The View'."
The news also comes in the wake of several complaints about toxic work culture and bad blood between her and co-host Meghan McCain. While both McCain and Huntsman have stayed away from publically commenting on the matter, over a dozen people told CNN Business there was a dispute between the two women. Apparently, it started when McCain called out Huntsman for bringing up her kids and her "insensitive" child-centric chats on the show.
It was the alleged "baby fight" that insinuated matters further and even though they tried to make amends, a source told the outlet, "Abby was sick of being berated by Meghan for perceived slights. She ultimately decided she didn't need this job and it wasn't worth it." She even met with Barbara Fedida, senior vice-president of talent at ABC News last week to tell her about the departure amid the stressful environment.
Nevertheless, McCain wished Huntsman "nothing but the best on her next chapter." She also said, "I think leading a gubernatorial campaign is a really good reason to leave the show," adding, "We all love you so much." The two even hugged at the end of Monday's show. A source close to McCain even disclosed to the outlet, "Meghan has been miserable there for quite some time, and not because of Abby. She wishes her nothing but the best."
Reportedly, the show has been witness to frequent clashes between hosts. What's more, a book was released in 2019 that chronicles a few dramatic events from behind the scenes.
In a statement to CNN Business, an ABC spokesperson said on Monday, "We have an incredible panel of smart, dynamic women at 'The View,' who bring tremendous passion and a strong point of view to the show every day. They can discuss difficult issues and debate both sides fiercely and then agree to disagree and return to the table for the next hot topic."
He added, "There has always been a fascination with the behind-the-scenes at the show since the show began, but they do a tough job by going out there every day to share their opinions and beliefs on live TV."
She also announced she will be stepping down to "dedicate herself full-time in support of her dad". The 33-year-old will join the gubernatorial race and help her father, Jon Huntsman, run for governor of Utah. Previously the governor from 2005-2009, he is seeking a second term in the state's top office after running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Abby will be a senior adviser on his campaign.
Jon was also named the US ambassador to Russia in 2017 by President Donald Trump. However, he resigned that post in October, one month before he launched his gubernatorial bid.
Reports suggest that ABC is not set to find a replacement for her immediately, but her last episode will air on Friday. Expressing her gratitude, she also said, "You always made me look much better than I ever could have on my own. Thank you for believing in me and for all the laughs along the way."
In its 23rd season, 'The View' has managed to spiral up its ratings, especially with the growing popularity of its signature Hot Topics debates. Dissecting the latest scandals from the Trump White House before the 2020 election, the show has successfully conducted interviews with many of the Democrats running for president including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker.