Today the rumor mill was going strong that ABC’s “The View” would likely hire Jenny McCarthy to replace co-host Joy Behar, who’s stepping down after 16 years on the morning chat show. There are many reasons that McCarthy—best known for being a Playboy Playmate, the co-host of MTV’s defunct dating show “Singled Out” and for her controversial views on autism—would be a great fit for the show. She’s funny, outspoken and would have plenty to say about dating as a single mom, including about her relationship with ex Jim Carrey. Reportedly Brooke Shields, also up for the spot on “The View,” is the only one who might stand in McCarthy’s way.
No matter which woman is hired, the racial makeup of the show would remain the same—two black ladies and three white ones chewing the fat on everything from politics to sex scandals to the N-word. In its 16 seasons on air, “The View” has featured Chinese-American, African-American and Caucasian co-hosts but has conspicuously gone without a Latina. It’s a considerable omission given that Hispanics are the largest minority group in the U.S. and that “The View” originally billed itself as a program that would highlight the views of women across ethnic, age and political lines.
The lack of Hispanic representation hasn’t gone unnoticed by current co-host Sherri Shepherd, who’s black. “I think we need a Latina on the show,” Shepherd told Jay Leno during an appearance on the “Tonight Show” in May. She said the same on “The Wendy Williams Show.”
The only Latina who’s come close to being a co-host on the show is conservative Republican and “Real World” alum Rachel Campos-Duffy, who came in twice as a runner up for a seat at the table. She lost the first time to Lisa Ling and a second time to current co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who is rumored to be parting ways with “The View.”
Although “The View” is the longest running all-female daytime talk show, it’s not the only program of its kind. CBS debuted “The Talk” in 2010, but like “The View” that show has no Latinas in its lineup of five co-hosts. Evidently the only place to see a Latina on a daytime talk show is Fox’s new program “The Real,” which debuts July 15 and will feature actress and singer Adrienne Bailon, who’s Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian. “The Real,” though, will only air in select cities for a trial run, so there’s no guarantee that Bailon will become a fixture in the daytime talk circuit.
Television shows such as “Girls” and “Friends” faced a backlash for their lack of diversity in casting. Shouldn’t TV shows that pride themselves on featuring the perspectives of a wide range of women—whites, blacks, lesbians, Asians, Christians—be held to the same standard?
Update: ABC announced tonight that Elisabeth Hasselbeck is leaving “The View” to join “Fox & Friends,” so this opens up two slots for a possible Latina co-host.