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Monday, September 21, 2015

Why I Don't Like The View

I have a confession to make.

I have NEVER liked "The View".

In fact, I have to say that whenever "The View" came on the air, I always said "Oh, great, Barbara Walters and her merry maidens of menopause are on the air again".

Hey, I was sixteen when the show began airing.  I was a teenager.  Teenagers say silly things.

It seems hard to believe that "The View", which has been airing on ABC since August 1997, has been on the air for eighteen years and counting.  And over those eighteen years, the show has seen its share of controversy. 

In fact, right at this moment, the show is experiencing a huge backlash after comments that were made by two of its panelists, with at least five different advertisers pulling their commercials from "The View"'s commercial blocks.

And, honestly, I say it looks good on "The View".

By now, most of this is old news to you reading this, but just to recap, this whole controversy started on the episode immediately following the airing of the Miss America Pageant.  The hosts were discussing the pageant, and they were talking about the talent portion of the show (which I have to admit I didn't even know they still did, as it's been well over 20 years since I last saw a pageant on television).  One of the contestants, Kelley Johnson (Miss Colorado) decided that she would come out on stage in scrubs (her day job is as a nurse), and she would recite a monologue about how wonderful it is to be a nurse.  In fact, here's a clip of her monologue.

A non-traditional talent choice, but a very moving one.  As someone who has both family members and friends who have been or are currently nurses, my hat is off to them, and I know just how hard they work.  I know when I was hospitalized four years ago, the nurses who took care of me were professional and kind.  Even if they were having a rough day on the job, I never knew it.  Millions of people watched Johnson's monologue and got the message that she was more than "just a nurse".

Well, all except Michelle Collins and Joy Behar, that is.

You see, rather than point out the fact that Miss Colorado spoke passionately and lovingly about her profession, Collins just pointed out that she didn't understand why she wore her nurse's "costume", while Joy questioned why she was wearing a "doctor's" stethoscope". 

You can bet that didn't go over well.  And it didn't.

On social media, under the hashtag #NursesUnite, millions of nurses and doctors posted images and videos stating that nurses were to be celebrated, not mocked.  Furthermore, they also launched a boycott of "The View", stating that until Collins and Behar issued an apology for their comments, they would never watch the show again.

And as of today, the #NursesUnite movement definitely seems to be making an impact.  Ratings for the show are dipping, and companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Party City, Snuggle, Eggland's Best, and McCormick are pulling their advertising dollars out of "The View". 

Of course, "The View", trying to play damage control, tried to make up for the comments by inviting a group of nurses as their guests and where Collins and Behar did issue apologies for their thoughtless comments.  But some would say that it would be too little, too late.

Heck, Nicole Arbour - who appeared as a guest on the same show - allegedly stated that the ladies of "The View" faked their apology and that Collins was still mocking the profession.  Now, granted that Arbour herself was publicly shamed (and rightfully so) for her "Dear Fat People" video that she posted on YouTube, you might want to take her allegations with a pinch of Mrs. Dash.

But in the end, do I think they were sincere?  I don't know.  I think in their own minds, they thought they were being sincere, but to everybody else, they'll have to make their own judgment calls on that one.

But I can tell you one thing.  Their apologies do nothing to change my opinion on "The View".  I still don't like the show because I think that the current producers of the show purposely hired the most controversial and loudmouthed personalities to create drama and scandal.  And to me, that isn't entertainment at all.

I truly do believe that Barbara Walters had the greatest intentions when she created "The View" back in 1997.  She wanted to assemble different women at different ages and in different stages of their careers to talk about different points of view and hot topics.  And the show's inaugural cast did just that.  You had Meredith Vieira, the show's first moderator who balanced life in the news business and being a mother to three children.  Star Jones had made a living for herself as an attorney.  Debbie Matenopoulos  was the youngest panelist, just starting out in her career.  And Barbara herself had decades of experience being an anchorwoman and correspondent with ABC News.  And, well...Joy Behar had a couple of hit points every now and again.

But when the original cast was leaving, the show changed in a big way.  It no longer became sharing points of view and agreeing to disagree (a formula that "The Talk" on CBS is using quite well), and instead it had turned into the "you don't agree so I'll scream at you until you do" show.  

Just Google Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Rosie O'Donnell for more info on that one.

Honestly, I don't want to watch a show where everyone is screaming at each other.  I don't want to watch a show where professional women behave like shrieking harpies.  It dumbs down their professions, and worse, it gives people a negative stereotype of how women behave.  Nice job, ladies.

It's why I can't take "The View" seriously as a show any longer.  And now that Barbara Walters has retired and has distanced herself from the show, "The View" needs to be permanently closed to the public.  

Stick a fork in it.  It's done.

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