Jenny McCarthy will officially be joining “The View” as co-host, Barbara Walters confirmed Monday on the ABC talk show.
“We love her because she’s fun and uninhibited and opinionated enough to help us begin the latest chapter in 'The View' history,” Walters said of McCarthy, who has made 17 appearances on the show, including eight as guest co-host.
The former Playboy model, who rose to fame on the '90s dating show “Singled Out,” will join the show in September, when its new season officially kicks off. She will be replacing Joy Behar, the longtime co-host who bids farewell next month. “The View” has yet to name a replacement for Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who abruptly left last week for Fox News.
Though she launched her own little-watched talk show on VH1 earlier this year, McCarthy has remained in the spotlight in recent years mostly due to her support for the discredited theory that childhood vaccines cause autism, which could prove more controversial than the heated political arguments that have come to define “The View” in recent years.
Last week, as reports surfaced that McCarthy was in talks with “The View,” Slate science columnist Phil Plait urged readers to write to ABC denouncing her. While their pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears, on Twitter on Monday morning, the backlash against McCarthy was swift and furious.
“Congrats ABC for hiring vaccine crank Jenny McCarthy for her ‘outrageous... fresh POV,’ [because] actual medical science is so stale and dull,” read a typical tweet from Time television critic James Poniewozik.
“Wow! Congratulations to Jenny McCarthy and Measles/Mumps/Rubella for spreading its reach,” wrote comedian and author Julie Klausner.
ABC declined to comment on the issue.