Kelly Ripa demands respect amidst co-host controversy


As far as Kelly Ripa is concerned, “our long national nightmare” has finally come to end. And whether you choose to agree with that sentiment or not, there is a lot she’s saying to which morning show watchers are nodding their heads.

It all unfolded as Ripa took the spotlight for an out-of-sorts opening monologue marking her return to daytime television. Though her four-show hiatus seemed barely enough to panic over, it could now be noted as one of the most suspenseful times in talk show history along with her intense return.

The drama started April 19 when the announcement came that Michael Strahan would leave his post as co-host on “Live With Kelly and Michael” in September for a full-time spot on “Good Morning America,” where he regularly hosts part-time.

The news reportedly came as no surprise to any of the show executives except Ripa, his on-screen counterpart. As it turns out, Strahan kept Ripa, 26-year veteran of the show, in the dark for fear she would in sabotage his arrangements to abandon ship. In other words, bad move on his part, because Ripa was not happy.

The co-host was apparently so unhappy with how the ordeal unfolded that she left the show early for a pre-scheduled vacation, leaving plenty to speculate whether or not the demise of the show was near. However, it now seems Ripa was only taking a hiatus to “gather her thoughts” for what would ultimately become a very public middle-finger to everyone she felt wronged by.

On April 26, the morning of her return, Strahan and Ripa walked out on the stage hand and hand until Ripa decided it was time to to get a few things off her chest. To a standing ovation, she thanked her audience for welcoming her back and acknowledged the elephant in the room for the first time publicly.

She said her time away from the show started a greater conversation about “communication, consideration and, most importantly, respect in the workplace.” (Note: She served a major glare into the camera lens when she said “respect in the workplace.”) Her monologue then went on the ensure viewers that apologies had been made and the parent company of the show has made “Live!” a priority.

But regardless of Ripa’s enduring sentiments and ensurance, people are still pissed. The proof is in the pudding here: A woman with 26 years under her belt was stepped on by her male counterpart with only four years of showtime experience. That is the problem. There is a confusion as to why Ripa was not afforded the same respect as her co-host throughout this entire ordeal, and that has a lot of viewers angry.

Though Ripa seemed to put an end to the chaos, the drama is far from being over. Strahan, who was originally supposed to be making his departure from the show in September, will now leave May 13. Rumours have already begun swirling that his new departure date comes directly from his bitter co-host. Plus, the moved up departure means plenty of rumours for whom the network (and Ripa) will pick to fill his vacancy.

Current front-runners for the spot seem to be Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen, both close friends of Ripa and hosts of their own respective shows on Bravo and CNN. There is no telling when the new co-host will be announced, but the network is already at it to fill the spot before ratings are affected anymore than they already are.