ABC announced on May 25 that, effectively immediately, Rosie O’Donnell would no longer be a host on its daytime talk program, The View. The outspokenly liberal celesbian asked for an early exit from her contract following her angry final confrontation with conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on May 23. That day, the two foils sparred in an unprecedented fashion over O’Donnell’s opposition to the war in Iraq.
O’Donnell, in less than one year, injected strong opinions, controversy and ultimately skyrocketing ratings to The View, a program created by Barbara Walters. She had been scheduled to leave the show in mid-June, having said last month that she and ABC were unable to agree on a new contract.