The ladies of The View are struggling to feel connected as they continue working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.
A source exclusively tells E! News that not being able to film the daytime talk show in person is contributing to a sense of increased tension, especially as Meghan McCain returns from maternity leave. The insider explains, "There has always been a sense of family behind the scenes at The View, but it has been harder to maintain that camaraderie amongst the show's hosts while producing the show remotely."
Prior to the pandemic, the insider says Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines and Meghan were prevented from "hiding from each other" on the Manhattan set, which the source describes as "much smaller than similar studios."
"The women typically start their mornings together in hair and make-up before passionately sharing their opinions," the source continues. "Then once the show goes off the air, the panelists all walk off set together, and there is almost always a post-show meeting—allowing the hosts to smooth over any tension that may have bubbled over during the day's episode."
The new way of doing things, however, has disturbed this routine. According to the insider, "With the show now shooting remotely, the hosts are no longer having the opportunity to clear the air after the episode. They just turn their cameras off and continue their day."
This has posed a challenge for the women of The View, who seemingly butted heads more than usual amid Meghan's return this week.
On Monday, Jan. 5, Meghan and Joy made headlines with their bickering. During the "Hot Topics" segment, Meghan interrupted Joy, sparking much shouting. Eventually, Meghan quipped, "Joy, you missed me so much when I was on maternity leave. You missed me so much. You missed fighting with me. Don't act like you don't miss fighting with me."
Joy stoically replied, "I did not. I did not miss you. Zero."
This did not go over well with the new mom, who snapped back, "Oh my god. You know what? That's so nasty. That's like so nasty. I was teasing because you said something rude. Like really?"
E! News has learned that, despite Joy's comments, Meghan's voice is, as always, warmly welcomed back at the show.
While the source says this is typical of the two ladies, who we're told "have never been friends," they also acknowledge that tensions are a bit higher than normal, explaining, "They have had a cordial working relationship, but that has become much more difficult to maintain while not being in the same area."
Even so, the insider shares The View showrunners won't be making changes anytime soon. "The show's ratings are doing very well so showrunners aren't exactly looking to change up the dynamic," the source reveals, "even if emotions are running high."
After all, the drama makes for good TV and the proof is in the pudding. E! News has learned that Meghan's return to The View marked the show's highest ratings in two months.
But it isn't just the drama that fuels the show's success. The camaraderie that viewers love was on display when Sunny revealed both her mother and father-in-law had recently died of COVID. The women rallied around the former news anchor in her time of grief.
Additionally, we're told that while the hosts are not physically together for the time being, they are all in constant contact with each other and show producers.
— Reporting by Spencer Lubitz.