While the problems between Kelly Ripa and her ABC series Live! with Kelly and Michael have died down, it’s been clear that Kelly Ripa herself still has feelings about what happened between the network, herself and Michael Strahan. While she’s explained on the air what happened leading to her leave of absence after ABC announced Michael Strahan would be heading to Good Morning America to take a full-time role, she hasn’t really explained why she was so upset until now. Here’s what she had to say in a recent interview:
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.
While she doesn’t explicitly say that ABC made her feel terrible about herself and her work, she does seem to indicate that a lack of respect in the workplace can make jobs harder than they need to be. And while she tells People she understand that after 26 years sometimes those you work with become a little too close and comfortable with you, she also seems to wish that she had gotten the Michael Strahan news more than a short time before the press was told.
She also takes a second sort-of shot at ABC without mentioning the name of the parent company, noting:
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.
After Kelly Ripa learned Michael Strahan would be leaving her series, she took a leave of absence from the early morning show, extending what was reportedly an already-planned vacation. When she came back, she explained that she was just surprised and caught off guard by the changing landscape of her TV show and needed some time to think about what was happening. Soon after, ABC ultimately decided to pull Michael Strahan from Live! early, which means a slew of interim hosts will fill his spot starting after this week. That probably wasn't the best way to end things, either.
Clearly, the fact that Strahan is heading to GMA earlier than expected coupled with the fact that Kelly Ripa is still making comments that can and probably should be construed as digs at her parent company means that Kelly Ripa still has major feelings regarding what happened. Early rumors even indicated that Live! might be shifted to later in the schedule or even pulled entirely, which probably did not help Kelly Ripa’s state of mind. Now, it seems like the network still wants to keep her around, but it’s easy to see why she’s still a little uncomfortable with what happened.
Michael Strahan’s final episode of Live! With Kelly and Michael will air on Friday, May 13 on ABC. Tune in to find out how the big goodbye episode goes.