All she’s askin’ is for a little respect. Kelly Ripa made her much-anticipated return to Live With Kelly and Michael on Tuesday, April 26, and delivered an opening monologue addressing her absence and the behind-the-scenes drama that ensued after Michael Strahan announced last week that he’s leaving the show for Good Morning America.
In her big return, Kelly Ripa spotlighted “respect in the workplace,” and tried to explain why she was so upset over her cohost’s abrupt announcement that he was departing the show. As previously reported by Us Weekly, Ripa was “definitely blindsided” by Strahan’s announcement after she was called into a meeting last Tuesday with Live’s longtime executive producer Michael Gelman and WABC general manager Dave Davis and told about Strahan’s exit — moments before the announcement went live.
“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,” Ripa expressed. “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.”
As reported, Strahan attempted to reach out to Ripa multiple times after the initial debacle, but she needed time to digest everything. In the interim, a source explained to Us why the former NFL player didn’t consult his work wife sooner about his huge career transition.
“It wasn’t his place to tell Kelly,” the insider reasoned to Us. “The head of the network is supposed to tell the staff these things.” (CNN’s Brian Stelter reported on Monday that ABC executives personally reached out to Ripa in the interim to apologize about the gaffe.)
On Tuesday, she and Strahan walked out together holding hands and smiling. Ripa — who recently celebrated 15 years on the show — had loving, affectionate things to say about her colleagues. “Since we’re being honest, I don’t consider this just a workplace. This is my second home,” she said. “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. We are incredibly devoted to one another. We are family. 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.”
Strahan also chimed in to praise Ripa. “I’m so happy you’re back. And one thing I know about you is you love the show. You love the fans. You love this staff. I love you,” he said to his beaming cohost.
Watch the video above.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!