It’s now one of the iconic moments of Meghan McCain’s tenure on The View. Just two days after returning from maternity leave this past January, the conservative host got in a fight with outspoken liberal Joy Behar. In the middle of the back-and-forth, McCain said, “Joy, you missed me so much when I was on maternity leave. You missed fighting with me.” Behar shot back, “I did not. I did not miss you. Zero.” Cue the retweets. But in her new audio memoir, Bad Republican, McCain said the exchange hit her a bit harder than it may have seemed. “Nothing anyone has ever said to me on camera since I have been giving interviews since I was 22 years old ever hit this hard,” she said, excerpted in Variety. “I felt like I’d been slapped.” McCain continued that she “burst into … uncontrollable sobbing” once the show cut to commercial after Behar’s comments. “If you guys didn’t want me to come back, I wouldn’t have come back!” she told a producer. McCain said the event, which occurred as she was experiencing postpartum anxiety after the birth of her daughter, Liberty, played into her decision to leave the show. “While I wept, I no longer felt safe working at The View,” she said.
McCain never got an apology from Behar, she added, after asking her producer to ask for one. “I was told I would not be getting one and we all just needed to move on,” she said. “I never talked to Joy one-on-one again after that day.” (Per the excerpt, Behar had previously texted her to congratulate her on Liberty and ask for pictures.)
Now off the show, McCain went on to lob some criticism at The View as a whole over her experience. “The View didn’t feel like a pro-women show,” she said. She later added, “In this era of dismantling toxic work environments and refusing to accept the poor treatment of employees, how is The View still immune?” Among the other poor-treatment examples she cites? Whoopi Goldberg telling her “Girl, please stop talking right now” and, in McCain’s words, “blurting out ‘Okay’ in a tone that declared she was both baffled and disgusted by what I had just said.” McCain’s takedown of The View continues when Bad Republican comes out on October 21.