After four years of cohosting with Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan will depart from LIVE! With Kelly and Michael on Friday.
Despite going through one of the most dramatic daytime TV shakeups in recent memory, Ripa says she is “excited” for the future Good Morning America star.
But she still felt it was necessary to take a stand for herself after being blindsided by the news of his exit.
Speaking to People, the 45-year-old opened up about the controversial announcement and her reaction to the drama, explaining:
“There’s a part of me that can say, ‘Okay, I understand. This may have been an oversight.’ And again, after 26 years, at this point we are like a family. And sometimes when you are so comfortable with somebody, you may not give them the same consideration as somebody you’re not as comfortable with ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ a certain formality falls away.”
Ripa echoed her thoughts on the importance of communication in the work place, a sentiment she addressed when she returned to LIVE! a week after learning about Strahan’s exit. She continued:
“I think that all people are deserving of fair treatment in the work place. People deserve respect. People should be treated equally and with dignity. I think that requires a certain amount of empathy on a level. When you’re dealing with big business, it’s easy to forget that you’re dealing with people and that people have feelings. It’s easy to just look at it like a business unit, a unit, a unit.”
While Ripa doesn’t feel like anyone at ABC was “out to get” her, she noted that their dismissive tactics for handling the situation came across as “passive,” explaining:
“I’m not dealing with monsters. I don’t think of anybody as a monster or out to get me. But sometimes stability and dependability can be misinterpreted as passive. Like, ‘Oh, we don’t have to worry about her, she’s fine. She’s fine.’ And I am fine, but I need assurances that we’re all going to be fine…In that moment there were people looking at me, saying, ‘Tell us this is going to be okay. Are we going to be okay?’ “
The TV personality also touched on her decision to skip work for a week after learning about Strahan’s exit, explaining that she just needed time to evaluate the situation before speaking out to the public.
“I think what people need to understand about the entire situation is that I didn’t just not show up. I said, in the room, ‘I am going to take the day off.’ I needed to actually sit and gather information. I needed to make sure I said the appropriate things on TV and didn’t just come out and say whatever.”
But all said and done, Ripa understands that “things happen,” contending that she really is happy for Strahan’s new career move. She added:
“I get it. We’re excited for Michael. He wanted that job, and it’s great for him. I think it is a perfect match, I really do. However, what nobody considered is there’s a whole other group of people that it really impacts, because we have to now find another great person.”
While the perky blonde made it clear that finding the perfect “chemistry and camaraderie and trust” for a new cohost isn’t easy, she said:
“People make mistakes, and we’re all human. They’re human and I’m human. We all have these moments, and it’s about how you move forward and how you begin again.”
Sounds like she’s ready to move on from all of this and start the next chapter of LIVE!
After weeks of drama, we don’t blame her!
[Image via DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN/People.]