Rosie O’Donnell Explains Why She Missed Barbara Walters Tribute

The View paid tribute to its creator Barbara Walters during its January 3 broadcast, but one former panelist was notably absent from the special installment as Rosie O’Donnell was nowhere to be found.

The former talk-show host and actress took to social media to explain why she was absent from the event. She simply states in a video message, “Yeah, they invited me, but I wasn’t able to make it.” The clarification lets fans know she was extended an invite, but she further elaborates on the reason why she was unavailable and wishing not to participate.

“You know, I didn’t want to be in a big group of people and, I don’t know, I was worried that I would get upset and um, didn’t want to do that,” she adds. “So, there you go.”

O’Donnell appeared in over 100 episodes of the long-running daytime hit which brings a panel of women with different backgrounds together to discuss current events. First appearing as a guest in 2005, O’Donnell became a co-host of the program, working alongside Walters beginning in 2006 before leaving in 2007.

She returned to co-host in 2014 and appeared in dozens of episodes through 2015. As viewers of The View will recall, Rosie O’Donnell often made headlines during her run on the show, particularly during her first stint as a co-host which included a very public feud with Donald Trump.

Despite O’Donnell’s absence from The View‘s tribute episode, Walters’ former colleagues Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos, who were a part of the show’s original panel from 1997 joined their fellow original panelist Joy Behar, both virtually and in-person, to share kinds words about the late broadcast reporter. Behar’s current co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines, Ana Navarro, and Alyssa Farah Griffin also reflected on Walters’ impact.

The View, Weekdays, ABC, Check your local listings

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