Juan Williams leaves ‘The Five’

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

Juan Williams, one of the few prominent liberal voices on Fox Media’s right leaning commentary channel, has announced he’s leaving his regularly co-host seat on “The Five” but will remain with the network.

His last show was May 26, 2021.

Williams, who has been with Fox since 1997 and became co-host of the show in 2011, officially said that his desire to spend more time at his home in Washington, D.C., rather than New York City, where “The Five” normally is produced from, was the driving force behind the decision.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Williams split his time between the two cities. The show has largely been produced remotely, with Williams typically appearing from the district, since 2020, though it did return to the NYC studio briefly.

Williams himself tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the show to go back into remote production.

Meanwhile, a source told The Daily Beast that Williams’ frequent run-ins with co-host and conservative Greg Gutfeld is the real reason behind the change. The source said Gutfeld was lobbying behind the scenes to get Williams removed from the show.

Fox, meanwhile, says a rotating slate of personalities and contributors will fill Williams’ spot until if and when replacement is named.

The show uses a roundtable style format with hosts discussing various current events and issues. Observers noted that Williams appeared to realize he was, perhaps, a “token” liberal for the show and often brought lone liberal viewpoints to the show.

“The Five” takes its name from both its eastern airtime and the fact it typically features five co-hosts — four of which appear regularly, including Jesse Watters, Dana Perino, Gutfeld and, until now, Williams. The fifth chair was designated as a rotating slot.

As vaccination rates increase and COVID-19 cases decline, many TV shows are returning to their studios, making plans to do so and removing at last some social distancing between talent.