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Abby Huntsman Discusses Her Decision To Leave ‘The View’

Abby Huntsman Discusses Her Decision To Leave ‘The View’

 


Abby Huntsman, former co-host of “The View,” spoke with People magazine about her departure from the show, her experiences of the past year, and an upcoming project that she is excited to release. 

“It’s funny,” Huntsman told the outlet during a recent interview from her home in Connecticut. “I haven’t turned on the TV because I just … I can’t. I watch reruns of Modern Family on Hulu and I watch CoComelon. If I want to learn the news, I’ll just read something. But, I just — I don’t watch TV anymore.”The outlet reported that Huntsman was first “a host on MSNBC, then a reporter and host on Fox News, and most recently a panelist on ABC’s The View, which she departed in January 2020.”

Regarding her experience with “The View,” a political debate show that centers on the current events of the day, Huntsman said, “I don’t talk much about that time, and I won’t, but the decision that I made was probably the best decision I could have made for my life, for my mental health, for my happiness, for my family.”

“I’ve been in the news industry for the last 10 years working at so many different places, but it was a decision that I felt in my gut, actually, for quite some time about making, much longer than people probably realize,” she said. “And when I made the decision, I remember walking out those doors after they told me, ‘No one quits their dream job in television,’ and I said, ‘Well, this isn’t the dream job that I was hoping, in many ways, that it was.’” 

“And I’ll be honest,” she added, “this last year has been a lot of healing and a lot of asking myself questions and thinking things back and wondering, ‘Did you make a mistake, did you handle this right or that right?’”

After departing the show, Huntsman went to Utah to help her father, Jon Huntsman Jr., in his campaign for governor. Four days later, as the outlet reported, authorities confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the United States. She and her husband, Jeff, brought their three children to the state “thinking it was going to be a two-week thing.”

“Everything was breaking in New York, and so my husband and I said, ‘Let’s just take the kids there.’ We locked our apartment door thinking we’d be back in two weeks, and you pack a bag for a few days, for a week,” Huntsman said. “And, as we all experienced, it escalated and escalated.”

Huntsman got sick, along with her parents, husband, and children. Her husband was hospitalized with COVID-19, and in early July, her father lost his primary election for governor.

“There was a period, to be totally honest, that I didn’t think I would be able to get through,” she said, but she got through it, telling herself, “You just have to keep going. You just put one foot in front of the other in front of the other.”

Last year, she spent time reflecting on her father’s election loss. She told People, “I look back on it now and I realize how much resilience my family has and how proud I am to be part of a family that put themselves out there knowing that you can lose, and you do lose…And you know what you do? You get back on it again, you pick up the pieces.”

Her family now lives in Connecticut and is beginning to get back to a sense of normalcy. 

“It wasn’t the easiest [time] for us and for so many people,” she says. But, had it not been for all of the ups and downs, “I don’t think I’d be sitting here in Connecticut and feeling like a new person with a whole new perspective of my priorities and what I want out of life and what I hope to spend my time doing.”

Huntsman is starting a new media project, a podcast with her friend Lauren Leeds set to launch this fall with Dear Media. 

The show will be “about real life things, ups and downs and big chapters in life, losing someone you love, getting married, having kids, getting a divorce, becoming grandparents,” Huntsman said. “Every time we’ve talked on the phone over the year — she’s in L.A., I’m in New York — we talked about the ups and downs of life. And she’s also in television, and we just say, ‘How fun it would be for us to get together and do it the way we want to, have the conversations that we want to have and really pull out the most interesting things from interesting people?’”

“I didn’t want to be pulled on TV in a direction that wasn’t me, and so instead I just pulled myself from it on my own to say, ‘I don’t want this,'” she said. “I’m really looking forward to having just an outlet that I can control.”

Huntsman spoke about the typical clickbait headlines and drama that revolved around “The View.” 

“There’s so many articles that you’re like, half of that’s not even true,” Huntsman said. “And that was part of the reason in my decision: I don’t want my kids reading things about me growing up that are just so far from reality.”

“But you feel trapped in that, and there’s no way out,” she added. “So I don’t miss that at all. I can at least control what’s in my home right now, and I’m not living every day thinking, what’s this person going to write next?”

Before leaving “The View,” however, she did meet with higher-ups.

“As anyone should when they go quit a job, you go sit down the executives and you tell them why. And I spoke to them before that as well, about concerns that I’ve had on the show and environment and things like that. I said, ‘I’m walking out these doors, but I hope that certain things that we talked about will change, ” she said. “But, of course, everyone wants to write about the drama, because that is the show.”

The reality is, she said, “I’ll have friends there for the rest of my life. I’ll have even some mentors there that I’ll keep for a long, long time. So I still feel so lucky to have had that opportunity.”

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