Why was Debbie Matenopoulos fired over the prospect?

“The View” OG Debbie Matenopoulous made television history during the show’s inaugural season in 1997 as the youngest member of the judging panel and a recent college grad at that! “It was life changing and not what I expected at the time,” Matenopoulous revealed during an interview with The Good Men Project of the moment she was tapped for the co-hosting gig. “I said, ‘Are you crazy? Barbara Walters will want me to work for her?! You must be crazy!” And Matenopoulos credited that maybe they were.

In 1999, The View turned the NYU grad away. “I remember sitting there and all the blood was pouring out of my head,” Matenopoulos confessed in an interview for the omnibus book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet). “I screwed it up like that. I just wanted to be good for her. Of course I cried. I was so sad. These people were my friends. Here is the opportunity of a lifetime and I blew it.”

But why exactly did Matenopoulos get her pink panties? The answer may or may not surprise you…

Debbie Matenopoulos was fired due to ratings

It’s just showbiz baby!

According to Bill Geddie, former executive producer of “The View,” Debbie Matenopoulos’ firing came down simply to ratings. “The audience just didn’t like Debbie,” Geddie told writer Ramin Setoodeh for Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet). “The older people agreed with her. They thought she was an idiot, but it was funny. Younger people didn’t see themselves in Debbie.”

Still, Matenopoulos couldn’t help but take the dismissal personally. “Let’s just say I wasn’t treated right,” she later told People of her firing. “The people who were so cruel to me know who they are.” Matenopoulos also had a sneaking suspicion that her extracurricular activities also had something to do with her being fired. “I was young, I went to clubs and back then it was really fascinating for the paparazzi,” she told The Good Men Project. “I was the youngest person in history to be on a daytime show, so for her they were like, ‘Oh, she’s a loose gun. We’ll have something good for the press any minute.’” Case in point: the time she was caught by paparazzi dancing on a table in a pub. “I go to the show the next morning and I say ‘Hey’ to everyone and literally no one talks to me because they know I’m going to get in big trouble,” Matenopoulos recalled. Ruh-raw.

Debbie Matenopoulos has made peace with her sacking

However, Debbie Matenopoulos has since reconciled with her sacking. “It didn’t work out for Lisa [Ling] Either after two years. Then they hired Elizabeth [Hasselback] and it didn’t work out for her,” she said of her predecessors in a candid interview with Allison Kugel. “Something about it was really healing for me. It was kind of an acknowledgment and justification that, ‘Wait, it wasn’t me. It wasn’t me at all.’ For a minute you think it’s you and you’re like, ‘My goodness, what have I done? I messed the whole thing up.'”

Then on Oct. 22, 2021, Matenopoulos went back to her old stomping grounds on “The View” and got it going with her old co-host and OG panelist, whom Joy Behar twice removed, just like the old days. Though Matenopoulos insisted her time on The View was stressful, she was also willing to give credit where credit was due. “At the end of the day, it was the best experience of my life,” she admitted. “Yes it was so stressful and I was so scared but it really prepared me for anything. Not just on TV, but in life.”

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This is how lemonade becomes lemonade!