It’s been three weeks since Kelly Ripa hauled Michael Strahan and the powers that be at Disney into a metaphorical parking lot and got into a dramatic morning show fight over Michael’s exit from Live! With Kelly and Michael. In that time, a whole lot has happened. Kelly took a break, then Kelly came back and gave a “For Your Consideration“-worthy Emmy nomination speech about respect in the workplace. I thought Kelly’s speechwriter crammed in everything she had to say that day, but apparently she has more thoughts on the matter.
Kelly recently sat down with People to discuss “her side” of that situation with Michael. I’m guessing she went with People because Oprah and Diane Sawyer weren’t available for such an important tell-all. Kelly starts at the beginning of this whole situation. When Michael first announced that he was leaving Live! for Good Morning America, the word most commonly used to describe Kelly’s reaction to Michael’s news was that she was “blindsided.” Kelly agrees with that, because according to Kelly, usually you give your work “family” a little more notice that you’re leaving than 0.3 seconds before you make the announcement.
“There’s a part of me that can say, ‘Okay, I understand. This may have been an oversight.’ And again, after 26 years, at this point we are like a family. And sometimes when you are so comfortable with somebody, you may not give them the same consideration as somebody you’re not as comfortable with – a certain formality falls away.”
Kelly then put on her fanciest dueling gloves and slapped at no one in particular (*cough* ABC/Disney *cough*) for keeping everything on the down-low and trying to hide Michael’s move to GMA from Kelly.
“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. 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.”
Okay, but what about Michael’s last day being this Friday rather than in September, like what was originally planned? Is it because the hate is so thick between Kelly and Michael that it would break the Jaws of Life? No no no, it’s totally not that. According to Kelly, they need Michael’s chair to be sans-Michael so they can audition his replacement.
“What we’ve explained to them is, ‘Well, if you had asked us, we would have told you, Guys, we need to start looking, because we have summer hiatus, we have vacation time. We need to find people. If we’re going to have this list narrowed down at least to a manageable size by the fall, we need to start now.’ Nobody consulted us initially.”
That’s cute of Kelly to act like she hasn’t totally pried Michael Strahan’s nameplate off his dressing room door and carved the name ANDERSON COOPER into the wood with her index finger. You can read Kelly’s entire interview here. She also gets into how her mini-meltdown wasn’t just because Kelly was pissed off, but because Kelly was pissed off on behalf of the whole Live! family. “Look lady, I don’t care either way, just as long as I still gets paid for making sure the Travel Trivia wheel don’t fall and crush nobody” said the dude whose job it is to make sure the Travel Trivia wheel doesn’t crush nobody.