There were allegedly some Precious moments during Barbara Walters’ last-ever Oscar special.
The New York Daily News is reporting there was behind-the-scenes tension during Walters’ interview with Best Supporting Actress winner Mo’Nique, who insiders claim was “rude” to the longtime Oscars’ pre-show host.
“Barbara is telling friends that Mo’Nique was one of her most challenging subjects ever,” claims a “well-placed” insider. “If Barbara needed one more reason to quit the Oscar specials, Mo’Nique gave it to her.”
“She had very specific hair and makeup demands,” says a source. “She also insisted that Barbara fly down to Atlanta. Barbara usually goes to her subject’s home, whether it’s Tom Cruise or Julia Roberts. Mo’Nique wouldn’t let Barbara into her house.”
In fact, the source claims Mo’Nique was so “rude,” ‘The View‘ co-host’s producer had to step in.
“She was so disrespectful and dismissive that Barbara’s producer, Bill Geddie, had to step in and ask Mo’Nique’s husband Sid why Mo was being so rude,” the source continued. “Bill has told people you won’t be seeing Mo on ‘The View’ again soon.”
It was on ‘The View,’ where, according to the Daily News, the tiff began, after an off-hand comment made by Walters in a 2006 interview.
“How are those little creatures?” asked Walters, referring to Mo’Nique’s twin sons. “Wait a minute, Barbara, they’re not creatures,” Mo replied. Later during the exchange Walters teased, “Remember, you come and go. We stay.” That apparently ruffled the funny lady’s feathers.
Never one to let her guard down, Barbara dismisses claims that the Oscars interview was unpleasant saying, “There was nothing about her that was rude.”
“It’s a wonderful, funny interview,” Barbara says. “She couldn’t have been more open. If you’re not happy, you don’t answer those questions,” Walters added, referring to the pair’s frank discussion on such topics as Mo’Nique’s open marriage to Sidney Hicks and even her habit of not shaving her legs.
Host of her own BET talk show, ‘The Mo’Nique Show,’ the comedian took some heat during the promotion of ‘Precious’ for reportedly refusing to help promote the film without being paid. In a February interview with the Associated Press, Mo’Nique explains:
“Well, when they say Mo’Nique was worried about money, I wasn’t worried about money. Mo’Nique has a talk show that comes on five nights a week and she tapes six times a week for that talk show. And yes, when I leave my home, I leave my home and get paid to leave my home, so I wasn’t worried about money. They simply said, “You know, well Mo’Nique we can’t pay you to do that.” … We said, “OK, baby. Well, then, that’s not something we can do.” Because, when I leave out, why ever would I go do something for free when I can go and do something and bring money back home to my family?”
Walters announced in February that she was giving up her Oscars gig after 29 years. “I guess I could have stopped at 30,” she says, “but it seemed like a cliché.” The 80-year-old host sums up that she just felt it was time: “been there, done that.” She does plan to continue her annual special, ‘The 10 Most Fascinating People.’
The final Barbara Walters Oscars special, featuring Mo’Nique and Best Actress winner Sandra Bullock, as well as a retrospective of past specials (“If you were a twee…”), went out on a high note, drawing 15 million viewers, its largest audience since 2002.