Michael Strahan was the talk of the town last week when ABC revealed that the longtime “Live With Kelly & Michael” host was leaving the show to become a full-time anchor on “Good Morning America.” Although it was great news for Strahan, the moment was marred by drama as reports began flying that co-host Kelly Ripa was extemely outraged that she didn’t know until the last minute about Strahan’s plans to depart the show. Since then, fans have been wondering how Ripa would react to seeing Strahan on set again. Now, we have an answer as Ripa finally made her return to “Live” and spoke about the controversy.
As previously reported, Strahan has been a part-time anchor on “GMA” for some time now, but he recently landed a lucrative contract to join the show’s roster of anchors full time come this September. However, reports claim that Strahan was asked to keep the deal a secret from everyone, including the staff at “Live.”
Sources claim that Ripa was told about Strahan’s departure just a few minutes before ABC made the announcement to the world last Tuesday. Ripa was reportedly furious that she was blindsided with the news and she didn’t show up for work for the rest of the week or even yesterday. However, sources claim that Ripa was scheduled for time off on Friday and Monday so she could celebrate her 20th anniversary vacation with her husband, Mark Consuelos.
Well, after days of speculation and rumors, Ripa finally made her return to “Live” this morning and addressed the scandal. Ripa and Strahan walked out on set together holding hands and then Ripa stood in front of their studio audience by herself and explained how happy she was to be back.
She said, “OK. I first want to honestly, sincerely thank you for welcoming me back to the show. The show of support through this bizarre time has been really overwhelming. I really — I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts after 26 years with this company, I earned the right and let’s be honest. I know half of you called in sick to be here, so we get each other.”
Ripa then hinted that there was indeed behind-the-scenes drama over Strahan’s departure, but presented it as a learning lesson about communication in the workplace.
“I gained some perspective. I always speak from the heart. I didn’t want to come out here and just like say something I might regret,” she told viewers. “So what transpired though over the course of a few days has been extraordinary in the sense that it started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration and most importantly, respect in the workplace. And since we’re being honest, I don’t consider this just a workplace. This is my second home. This is a place that I’ve devoted myself to not just because of you, our loyal viewers, but because of all of the producers and the crew who work on this show. We have an incredible team.”
Ripa then explained that she and Strahan have made amends and that she’s happy for him and his new job as a TV anchor.
“We are incredibly devoted to one another. We are family,” she explained. “Apologies have been made and the best thing to come out of all of this, you guys, is that our parent company has assured me that Live is a priority.”
“I am thrilled for Michael. I’m thrilled for you,” Ripa added. “This is a tremendous opportunity and I couldn’t be and we couldn’t be prouder of you. And everything we accomplished together. So back to the show, this is entertainment. It’s supposed to be entertaining. So let’s get back to what we do best and start the show.”
Well, there you have it, folks. Ripa has finally spoken and it looks like both she and Strahan want to put this fiasco behind them. But what do you think of her comments? Do you think they were sincere? Let us know in the comments section.