Perez got choked up as she said, through tears, “I’ve decided that it’s time to move on and I will say that today is very bittersweet for me. I am excited for what is to come but I am so sad to leave The View, the staff, the producers, ABC and especially these two ladies,” gesturing to Whoopi Goldberg and Nicolle Wallace.
“I want to thank you for your friendship, Nicolle, and your intelligence and your wit and your sunshine,” she continued. “Whoopi, I want to thank you for everything—your guidance, your professionalism and most of all your friendship. It’s a dream sitting here with you and you’re truly the captain of the ship.”
Perez, 50, will finish out the 18th season and have a “proper sendoff” for her in a few weeks. A memo was sent by executive producer Bill Wolff to staffers on Tuesday (July 7, 2015), announcing that Perez was leaving the show to focus on acting full-time, and is welcome to return as a guest. She is currently in Larry David‘s Broadway play, “Fish in the Dark.”
Wolff wrote, “Our friend Rosie Perez has decided to leave the show at the conclusion of this season to pursue full time her love for acting. Stepping into the role of talk show host at the same time she has been starring on Broadway has been incredibly impressive.”
Earlier this year, rumor had it that Perez was leaving because she’d been fired from the show while she was on break rehearsing on Broadway. Instead, the other Rosie – Rosie O’Donnell – had left in February.
Watch Perez’s tearful, emotional goodbye in the video above.
Update — July 8, 1:35 p.m. ET:
Michelle Collins has been announced as Rosie Perez’s replacement, a source close to The View told E! news. Collins is a comedian who has been guest co-hosting for several weeks.