Men Moderating The View for the First Time in 13 Years: Does Barbara Walters Know About This?
For a 13-year-old show, The View is all over the news this month. Star Jones, who left the show in a whirlwind of drama a few years ago, is reporting that she's writing a dishy novel that skewers female talk show hosts. Then the show caught press this week when ABC pulled The View's advertisements from Perez Hilton's website after he published a link to a controversial photo of Miley Cyrus with her skirt in the wind.
Now The View is stirring up more buzz, by breaking open their brand in a bizarre way: the formerly female-led panel is manning up to broadcast the dude point of view.
Bryant Gumbel (of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel) broke through the View's glass floor Tuesday, becoming the first male moderator.
As announced on The View's blog:
Get ready for a series of firsts later this month! While Whoopi is off filming a movie -- and Barbara is still recuperating from her heart valve surgery -- The View plans to shake things up on the co-hosts' panel. And from first-ever male moderators to first-time guest co-hosts, it's fixin' to be a whole lotta "new" on The View.
On two days, male moderators will be joined by a male co-host, marking the first time multiple men will have been on the panel. (On Thursday, June 17th, Joe Scarborough moderates with media personality Stephen A. Smith co-hosting; on Monday, June 21st, Tom Bergeron moderates with comedian/actor/author Jay Mohr co-hosting.)
Whether this is an experiment, a PR grab or a move towards a modification of the show, giving men a panelist spot is completely counter to The View's stated mission and brand. Barbara Walters famously described the show's central premise in the opening credits used in early seasons:
I've always wanted to do a show with women of different generations, backgrounds and views: a working mother; a professional in her 30s; a young woman just starting out; and then somebody who's done almost everything and will say almost anything. And in a perfect world, I'd get to join the group whenever I wanted.
Does she even know this is happening? If not, they better wait until she's well to break the news.
Thirteen years straight with no men at the head of the table, until yesterday. The show has been distinctive specifically because talking heads on television are primarily men, so The View built and maintained popularity and received Emmys and accolades for carving out a space to amplify women's point of view.
Is it a problem that they are breaking their brand? Is it a loss to let men into the ladies' war room? Is a diverse gender perspective a good way to move forward over a decade into the show? Is this a sign of the times, with ABC courting a new audience of men at home during the day? Or is this simply a publicity ploy -- very possible, since The View is often a vortex of gossip and casting drama -- where we will see men kicked out of the women's clubhouse when the attention is gone? They certainly didn't pick the most charismatic of guests. Will anyone of either gender tune in for Fox Sports Radio's Stephen A. Smith? Gary Unmarried's Jay Mohr?
I have to say I'm pretty baffled by this choice. Are you a The View watcher? What's your view on the increasing testosterone levels at The View?
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