Spotlight on Barbara Walters
Barbara says The View controversies began when then-co-host Star Jones got gastric bypass surgery but decided not to tell anyone. "In the beginning, she was going to," Barbara says. "I was even going to do an interview with her on 20/20 because we thought it would be helpful. People would see her losing weight, so they should understand the dangers and the good things."
Star's choice to not go public with her gastric bypass operation made things difficult for The View's co-hosts, Barbara says. "We had to lie on the set every day because [Star] said it was portion control and Pilates. Well, we knew it wasn't portion control and Pilates," she says. "And the whole point of the program is honesty."
Barbara says the co-hosts went along with Star's choice because they wanted to support her. "She was our colleague, and she did not want us to out her, and we cared about her and thought we owed that to her."
Meanwhile, Barbara says, The View audience was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with Star's new image. "They didn't relate to her anymore. You can change if you're honest about your change," Barbara says. "[The viewers] turned on [Star] because they knew she wasn't telling the truth. If she'd said, 'I had a gastric bypass operation. ... Let me tell you what's good about it. Let me tell you what's bad about it. I'm losing weight; I'm also doing Pilates and watching my diet,' it would have been different. They would have loved her for it.'"