By Dawnie Walton
June 20, 2007 at 12:00 PM EDT

Dear Barbara Walters,

Wow. What a year, huh? You’ve certainly fought your share of battles. It was just last June that you were dealing with all that unsavory Star Jones Reynolds business, and then you had to referee the fraught Rosie months, and then — for all your efforts — the show got dissed and dismissed at last week’s Daytime Emmys! Ouch.

Well, you know I hate to pile on to your troubles at a time like this. But seeing as you seem to enjoy a lively debate, here’s a Hot Topic for you:

Why have you not yet hired, FULL-TIME, Sherri Shepherd or Jacque Reid or Gayle King or any of the other black women you’ve cycled through the show for over a year now?

Don’t get me wrong, Babs: Though I do think that, for diversity’s sake, there should be a woman of color on The View, at the time Star left I didn’t demand that her replacement be African-American. As a matter of fact, the initial set-up of your show (you know, Meredith’s the working mom, Debbie Matenopolous is the nutty young one, etc.) always kinda bugged me — not just because it meant Star was positioned as the representative for black people (though that was pretty wack at times, ha-ha!), but because it seemed to reinforce the very faulty idea that one person can ”speak” for an entire group. Thankfully, the show has moved past those days, and clearly, the women speak for themselves now.

BUT because you do seem intent on hiring a black woman specifically, as evidenced by the rotating roster of them you have on call, don’tcha think it’s time you made your decision?

See Babs, here’s the thing: This game of musical chairs has been going on for so long, with no end in sight, and it’s beginning to send a very bad message to me. That these women are interchangeable. That the audience won’t notice the difference between them, and wouldn’t care which one of them is sitting with you on any given day. That none of them is good enough to take a co-host slot. And you know that’s not true — Sherri (pictured, far left) is hilarious and gels with all the ladies and also is extremely brave (didja see the way she tried to defuse the big Rosie-vs.-Hasselbot war?), and Jacque is witty and always on point and more informed than the rest of your panel combined.


Thanks in advance,
Dawnie Walton

addCredit(“The View: Heidi Gutman”)