UPDATE, 11:06am ET: Joy Behar started off the April 9 episode of The View by denying the report that she’s retiring come 2022. “Rumors of my retirement have been greatly exaggerated,” Joy joked. “Here’s the thing — what am I going to do? This pandemic has changed the game. At one point, you think ‘gee, I could retire and take a cruise around the world.’ I won’t even watch reruns of The Love Boat at this point. So where am I gonna go? What will I do?”
ORIGINAL: All good things come to an end! Joy Behar, 77, revealed her surprising plans to leave The View in the latest version of tell-all book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View’ by Variety editor Ramin Setoodeh. “I have a three-year contract…but that doesn’t mean I can’t leave if I want to, because they can’t really do anything to me at this point,” she said in an excerpt published by our sister publication Variety on April 8. “I don’t see myself staying for more [time],” she confirmed.
Joy, who has been a part of the show since its 1997 debut, went on to reflect about the end of her contract. “That’s it! I could be wrong. If I’m as fabulous in  as I am now, I’ll think about. But the chances of that happening…” Joy pondered. “You know, time marches on. I’m not a kid,” she also noted. The new interview will be included in the softcover version of the book, which is set for release next week.
Behind-the-scenes, however, producers are simply focused about keeping the show going with the current at-home arrangement. “Producers at The View are really focusing about this week for the show, rather than overthinking about anything that Joy might do when her contract is up,” an insider dishes to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “That is such a long time away and everyone really likes Joy so they hope she [either] reconsiders or they can talk her out of leaving if that really is her goal,” they added.
The source went on to note that there hasn’t been any talk about who would potentially fill Joy’s shoes once she officially leaves. “As for replacements, those talks haven’t even started or have even been thought of because again they all love Joy and wouldn’t want to have that out there that they are looking for her replacement,” they also spilled. “Everything usually works itself out when it comes to The View and when they have to deal with it all they will but as of right now everyone is happy and content to keep Joy around.”
Despite Joy’s comments, an ABC spokesperson has denied that the host will be leaving. “This is not true. Joy was asked what happens at the end of her contract and as she herself made clear in the interview, if she’s ‘as fabulous in  as I am now,’ she will be in her seat at the table,” the rep said in a statement obtained by HollywoodLife.
The New York native is now the longest standing co-host of The View, and and the only original remaining host of the original group, which included creator Barbara Walters, Lisa Ling, Star Jones, Meredith Vieira and Debbie Matenopoulos. Joy previously departed the series in 2013 after being fired, only to make her return two years later in 2015. Most recently, the host announced she was taking a temporary leave from the series due to health and safety concerns around the Coronavirus.