One step forward, two steps back: Jenny McCarthy to join The View9:12 am - 07/16/2013
Jenny McCarthy on June 5, 2013, when she appeared on The View
Barbara Walters confirmed on Monday'sThe View that comedic actress Jenny McCarthy will join the chatfest when its 17th season begins Sept. 9.
The announcement comes just five days after Elisabeth Hasselbeck signed off for a new gig on Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends and continues a revolving door of talent on ABC's live talk show. Joy Behar is exiting later this summer and Walters, who created the show with producer Bill Geddie in 1997 will leave next May.
McCarthy, a brash blonde in a different mold than Hasselbeck, a right-leaning former Survivor contestant, has appeared on several sitcoms and in film roles. She also writes an advice column for her hometown Chicago Sun-Times.
McCarthy has appeared on The View 17 times, including eight as co-host. This year, she gained more practice with VH1's late-night The Jenny McCarthy Show, which aired from February to May but garnered low ratings. A VH1 spokesman said that show was "on hiatus," but the network has now released her from her contract.
"We are delighted that Jenny will be joining us as a permanent co-host," Walters says, adding McCarthy "brings us intelligence as well as warmth and humor. She can be serious and outrageous. She has connected with our audience and offers a fresh point of view."
Not everybody shared Walters' delight. McCarthy, who has embraced the controversial claim that vaccinations cause autism, has drawn the ire of pro-immunization advocacy groups.
McCarthy's "unfounded claims that vaccines cause autism have been one of the greatest impediments to public health in recent decades," said Amy Pisani, executive director of one such group, Every Child By Two, in a letter to Walters and Geddie. "These false assertions, in addition to her condemnation of public health officials and the medical community overall, has spread fear among young parents, which has lead to an increased number of children who have not received life-saving vaccines."