Michael Strahan’s decision to leave Live With Kelly and Michael for Good Morning America was an opportunity he couldn’t give up. The cohost addressed his upcoming departure during an interview with Jonathan Tisch for Help USA and 92Y’s Change Makers Event in New York on Monday, April 25, and explained he’s taking the high road when it comes to the behind-the-scenes drama.
“To me it’s a testament, not just to me, because as I said, everything is a team. It’s a testament to Live, from [producer Michael] Gelman to Kelly [Ripa], for them to say, ‘You are good enough to be here,’ and then I go there, and I do well enough to get a job for two days at GMA, and then they say, ‘Well, you know what, we really could use you here.’ It’s a team. It’s ABC. It’s a group. It’s a family,” Strahan said of his exit, which is planned for September. “So for me, I don’t look at it as if I’m leaving one show in a lurch. I look at it as if, ‘You know what? I’m needed in this part of the family for now.’ … I think it’s just unfortunate how everything seems to be for a lot of people outside, because everyone has an opinion, without understanding what’s going on and that’s why. … You take the high road. If you argue with somebody who doesn’t know what they’re talking about and people see you arguing, they don’t know who’s the fool.”
As previously reported, Ripa felt blindsided by Strahan’s exit news, which broke on Tuesday, April 19, and “took a sick day” on Wednesday. Ripa, 45, has yet to publicly address her cohost’s impending departure and, according to an insider, was scheduled to go on an anniversary trip with her husband, Mark Consuelos, last week. In a statement to Us last week, a show rep explained that she’s scheduled to return to Live on Tuesday, April 26.
While talking about his big move, Strahan, 44, admitted that he’s “scared” about the unknown.
“To be honest, every new opportunity scares me and so I’m scared about that because I’m so used to doing Live With Kelly and Michael,” the former NFL player admitted. “[But] certain opportunities come your way and it was one of those situations where you get a call from somebody and you just agree because of who the call is from, and then you figure out later what you agreed to do.”
Following his announcement last week, Strahan praised Ripa on air, thanking her for all she’s taught him. Ripa, for her part, sent her coworkers an email thanking them for allowing her “time to process this new information.”
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!