Whoopi Officially Joins ABC's 'The View'

The Associated Press
Wednesday, August 1, 2007; 6:01 PM

NEW YORK -- Whoopi Goldberg will bring no celebrity feuds with her when she joins "The View," at least none that she's aware of.

"Who knows?" she told The Associated Press. "Anybody could say `I don't like her.' That's OK. I just won't come to your home."

That already sets Goldberg apart from her predecessor. "The View," putting Rosie O'Donnell in its rearview mirror, officially introduced Goldberg to the show's audience as its moderator on Wednesday. She'll start full time the day after Labor Day.

The show is on the lookout for another cast member to join Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and creator Barbara Walters. That person won't be named until the fall, Walters said.

O'Donnell announced this spring she was leaving ABC's daytime talk show after less than a year filled with controversy and feuds with Donald Trump and co-star Hasselbeck, among others.

Despite O'Donnell's polarizing presence _ or maybe because of it _ ratings shot up last year.

Goldberg, 51, gives "The View" a genuinely big name and distinct personality in her own right. She's among the select few performers to win an Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy award.

She's no stranger to political controversy, although that part of her resume isn't quite as filled as O'Donnell's. Goldberg was dumped from a Slim-Fast advertising campaign in 2004 after making a speech mocking the Bush administration at a political rally, at one point using the president's surname as a sexual reference.

"She'll be potentially less controversial than Rosie but still have a bit of an edge," said Bill Carroll, an expert in syndication for Katz Television.

Advertisers are likely to be happy with the choice, he said.

Goldberg said she's looking forward to talking about what's going on during what promises to be an interesting year ahead. She'll be the moderator, meaning it will generally be her job to steer the discussion and keep the show running on time.

"I just figure I'm going to be me," she said. "They know who I am and know what I do, so nobody will be surprised if I disagree strongly but not meanly. I'll never be mean. It's just not in me."

Walters, in an interview, said Goldberg isn't being brought in to calm a troubled sea.

"What Whoopi will bring us is fun," she said. "This is an entertainment program. We are not a newsmagazine."

She said Goldberg brought a formidable combination of smarts and skills as an entertainer, and also adds diversity to the program. "The View" has been without a regular black cast member since Star Jones Reynolds left under stormy circumstances last summer.

There were reports last week that "The View" was also close to bringing actress Sherri Shepherd, who's also black, on as another cast member. But Walters said several candidates are still being considered.

Walters teased her "big announcement" throughout Wednesday's show before Goldberg appeared, slapping hands with audience members as she walked down the stairs to the stage.

"I'm not sure what the show needs," she said. "I won't know what my position is until I'm there and I'm doing it and I haven't given a lot of pre-thought to how I would be doing it. But I will tell you that each time I've been on, I have a good time."


ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.


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