Rosie O’Donnell Says Whoopi Goldberg Refused to Talk About Bill Cosby on ‘the View’
- Rosie O’Donnell told Brooke Shields that Whoopi Goldberg initially “did not” want to talk about Bill Cosby on “The View.”
- On Shields’ podcast, she said she’d never again return to the daytime talk show.
- O’Donnell has said that interacting with Goldberg on “The View” was the “worst experience I’ve ever had” on live TV.
On Tuesday’s episode of “Now What With Brooke Shields,” Rosie O’Donnell opened up about her rocky experience hosting “The View,” and the surprise she felt when her relationship with former cohost and fellow comedian Whoopi Goldberg wasn’t as smooth as she expected it to be.
O’Donnell did two brief stints on the long-running talk show. She first began hosting in 2006 and left in 2007, before returning in 2014, when Goldberg was also a cohost.
“We clashed in ways that I was shocked by,” O’Donnell said of the “Sister Act” star at about the 31-minute mark of the podcast.
O’Donnell also told Shields that since she had experience producing her own daytime talk show (“The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” which aired on NBC from 1996 to 2002), she wasn’t used to “not having any power to make decisions” regarding the content that would be covered on the show.
She said that there would be hard news topics she was interested in discussing, and Bill Getty, who at that time was the executive producer of “The View,” would instead want the hosts to discuss “the new fall lipstick colors.”
During her second turn as a host on “The View,” Bill Cosby’s sexual-assault allegations were “a big topic” in the news, O’Donnell said.
“I wanted to discuss Bill Cosby and Whoopi did not,” O’Donnell claimed.
Goldberg eventually did speak about Cosby on the show.
“I don’t like snap judgments because I’ve had snap judgments made on me, so I’m very very careful…save your texts, save your nasty comments — I don’t care,” Goldberg said on “The View” on July 7, 2015, according to The Wrap, noting that people in the American justice system were innocent until proven guilty.
By July 14, 2015, CNN reported that Goldberg had reversed her opinion on Cosby in an interview with ABC News chief legal analyst Dan Abrams. “If this is to be tried in the court of public opinion, I got to say all of the information that’s out there kind of points to guilt,” she said.
Sexual assault accusations against Cosby had percolated for decades but first picked up steam in 2014, when comedian Hannibal Buress referenced rape claims against Cosby in a comedy show, according to a timeline by ABC News. In December 2015, Cosby was charged with drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, who said Cosby assaulted her in 2004 and first filed a lawsuit against him in 2005. Constand was one of over sixty women who accused Cosby of similar crimes.
That case ended in a mistrial in 2017, After a second trial, Cosby was found guilty of three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault in April 2018 and began a three to 10-year jail sentence that September. His conviction was overturned in 2021 after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that Cosby shouldn’t have been charged due to a deal made by a former prosecutor, and Cosby was released from prison.
O’Donnell and Goldberg had tension outside of Goldberg’s stance on Cosby.
According to People, in Ramin Setoodeh’s book 2019 book about “The View,” the “A League of Their Own” star told Setoodeh: “Whoopi Goldberg was as mean as anyone has ever been on television to me, personally — while I was sitting there. Worse than Fox News. The worst experience I’ve ever had on live television was interacting with her.”
On Shields’ podcast, O’Donnell said she’d never work on “The View” again.
Representatives for Goldberg didn’t immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment.