Michael Strahan is finally breaking his silence about leaving “Live With Kelly and Michael” (now called “Live With Kelly”) for “Good Morning America” in May. The former NFL superstar set the record straight about his exit and rumors he and former co-host Kelly Ripa are feuding.
Speaking to People, Strahan claimed he was made to look like the villain for quitting the ABC talk show. He said he found his portrayal to be “disappointing,” adding that he takes pride in carrying himself a certain way and having his fans see him in that light. Strahan assured the public that his decision to leave “Live” was not a rushed one and everyone involved was aware of what was going on.
“The most disappointing thing to me was that I was painted as the bad guy, because I value the way I carry myself,” he told the magazine. “I don’t want people to see me as ‘Oh, he just ran out, just left them there.’ That’s just not true.”
Although Strahan insists he made the “Live” team aware that he was leaving, Ben Sherwood admitted in an sit-down with the Hollywood Reporter that ABC mishandled the situation. The president of the Disney/ABC Television Group told the publication that they acknowledged the things they could have done better and were quick to absolve them. Sherwood added that despite the drama, he was confident that both “Live” and Ripa would be able to bounce back.
“We made some mistakes,” Sherwood said. “We fixed them quickly and we moved on.”
In the weeks since Strahan’s departure, Ripa has been hard at work trying to chose his predecessor. She has appeared on the show alongside new guest co-hosts weekly, but has yet to announce who will land a permanent position on “Live.” Perhaps that’s because, according to an insider, Ripa is uncertain of which of her many guests has the potential to succeed on the show. Sources told Entertainment Tonight that Ripa and the “Live” team decided to continue trying different co-hosts until they found a good fit. The current host is said to be in no rush to reach a decision and, if the source is right, may not pin anyone down until November.
“The show is going to stick to doing a round robin shuffle of guest co-hosts for the time being. Kelly likes the dynamic right now, so they’re not in a hurry to make a decision anymore,” the source told ET.
Reps close to the show assure fans that Ripa’s indecision should not be taken as an indication that she’s looking to go solo. In a statement released to ET a spokesperson said that Ripa has been clear about wanting a partner to host “Live” with, but said that they had decided to remove time constraints from their search.
“Kelly has always said that she wants a partner, and that hasn’t changed,” the “Live” rep said. “There is no timeframe for the co-host announcement, so there’s nothing to postpone.”
Meanwhile, Strahan is settling in on “Good Morning America.” After taking some time off to enjoy the summer, the former New York Giants player appeared in his first broadcast on Sept. 6. He was welcomed to the show with open arms by his co-hosts, who conveniently invited a mini Strahan impersonator to join them during the show.