Michael Strahan Alludes To Tension With Kelly Ripa: Certain Things Were Going On Behind The Scenes – I Don’t Hate Her
It’s been years since Michael Strahan seamlessly made the transition from NFL all-star to a favorite daytime TV host.
While he currently stars on ABC’s afternoon show “Strahan, Sara & KeKe”, he previously served as the co-host of the network’s “Live! With Kelly & Michael.” His sudden and shocking exit in April 2016 caused many to believe there was intense tension between him and his now ex co-host Kelly Ripa, as she was reportedly blindsided by news that he was leaving.
During an interview with the New York Times, Michael Strahan spoke on his successful move from sports to the small screen and said,
“The mental aspect of working in TV is like it was in football. I don’t want to be on the show and feel like everyone else is carrying me. I want us all to be successful. I’ve done things where I went in with team concepts, and I got there and realized it’s not about team. It’s selfish, and I don’t operate well under that.”
In sports, you can put as many great players as you want on a team, but if one guy out there is worried about himself, it will not work. Then on television, I’ve had jobs where I got there and felt like: Wow, I didn’t know I was supposed to be a sidekick. I thought I was coming here to be a partner.”
When asked if he was referring to Kelly Ripa, he said,
“It was an experience! I remained the same person I was from Day 1. One thing I will not do is alter my attitude for somebody else’s. I learned so much from Kelly, so much from Michael Gelman. When it was time to go, it was time to go. Certain things that were going on behind the scenes just caught up.”
He said his seemingly knee-jerk departure to go from “Live! With Kelly & Michael” to “Good Morning America” was misunderstood behind-the-scenes. He said of his exit:
“It could have been handled better. I didn’t wake up and say, “I want a job at ‘Good Morning America’”. I was asked to do it by the people who run the network. It was really not a choice. It was a request. But it was treated as if I was the guy who walked in and said, “I’m leaving.” That part was totally misconstrued, mishandled in every way. People who should have handled it better have all apologized, but a lot of the damage had already been done. For me, it was like: Move on. Success is the best thing. Just keep on moving.”
He added that he did try to ease the issues between him and Kelly Ripa before he left.
“One thing I tried to do is have a meeting every few weeks with her. We met a few times, and that was fine. But then eventually she said she didn’t need to meet. Can’t force somebody to do something they don’t want to do.”
Still, he said he did learn quite a few things from his former co-star, just like she most likely has from Regis Philbin, who originally debuted the show “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” featuring Kathie Lee Gifford in 1988. Kelly Ripa replaced Kathie Lee Gifford in 2001, making the show “Live! With Regis & Kelly” and Michael Strahan replaced Regis Philbin after he retired in 2011.
Ryan Seacrest then replaced Michael Strahan after a nationwide search. Michael Strahan spoke on what he learned from Kelly Ripa.
“Oh, I’m sure the same things she learned from Regis Philbin. If you look at the show, it really hasn’t changed since Regis started the d*** thing. He created this formula. It’s kind of a plug-and-play. You learn how to craft a story. “What did you do last night?” “Oh, I had a glass of water.” But you learn to tell the story to make it seem like the most interesting glass of water. Those are things that I learned from her. She’s brilliant in that way. If people think, ‘Oh, he hates her’ — I don’t hate her. I do respect her for what she can do at her job. I cannot say enough about how good she is at her job.”