Jenny McCarthy Is a Controversial Choice to Host 'The View'

The addition of the outspoken actress and author has caused a stir due to her beliefs about vaccines causing autism

Less than a week after Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s departure, ABC News has confirmed that quirky former Playboy Playmate Jenny McCarthy will join The View for its 17th season.

The show's co-creator, Barbara Walters, expressed her excitement over the hiring on Monday: "We are delighted that Jenny will be joining us as a permanent co-host on The View starting in September," the newswoman said. "Jenny brings us intelligence as well as warmth and humor. She can be serious and outrageous. She has connected with our audience and offers a fresh point of view. Jenny will be a great addition to the show as we usher in an exciting new chapter for The View.”

McCarthy should feel right at home on the panel; she’s appeared on the show 17 times and has guest-hosted the daytime series eight times. However, the announcement hasn't come without controversy, due to McCarthy’s well-known stance and belief that vaccines cause autism.

ABC has also received criticism for giving the actress a platform to promote these views. The best-selling author of three books on the disease has not kept it a secret that she thinks her son’s autism was caused by vaccination. In 2009, she revealed in an interview with Time Magazine that she believes “it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their f***ing fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s s***.”

Many are worried McCarthy will use her new role to persuade other parents to believe the same. So far, ABC has not commented on the matter, but McCarthy hasn’t let the critics get to her. "YUP, I'M DOING 'THE VIEW'!" McCarthy posted on her blog Monday. "When word got out that Joy [Behar] was leaving The View, I knew that the timing of my desire and her departure might be serendipitous for me."

In addition to Hasselbeck and Behar moving on from the show, Walters is retiring from television next year, leaving Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd on the couch. Who will be next to join the ladies? We hope it's someone with opinions that are just as varied -- and yes, sometimes even controversial -- as McCarthy to keep the conversation lively.     

Ashley Smalls is an iVillage contributing writer. Find her on Google+.

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