Michael Strahan Opens Up About The Selfishness In Television And His Tense Relationship With Kelly Ripa

Published on January 30, 2020.

Micahel Strahan shared more details about his tense relationship with his former coworker Kelly Ripa.

The 48-year-old former NFL star sat down with The New York Times for an interview, where he opened up more about his time on Live with Kelly and Michael and the tensions between Ripa and him.

He called his time with Ripa “an experience,” and described how he tried to create an environment where they could work through their issues.

“One thing I tried to do is have a meeting every few weeks with her,” he told the publications. “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.”

Strahan told The New York Times that they did their best to not let their offscreen drama affect their dynamic when live, but, “certain things that were going on behind the scenes just caught up.”

He maintained that while he “remained the same person … from day one,” he knew “when it was time to go, it was time to go.”

That being said, the former NFL star said his exit from Live with Kelly and Michael in 2016 “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,” Strahan said. “It was really not a choice. It was a request.”

When news broke of him leaving Live, he said, “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,” Strahan added.

The Good Morning America host compared working on television to playing football.

“The stakes are definitely different. Football will be the hardest thing I will ever do when it comes to work, because it requires you, mentally, to take yourself where you never thought you could go physically. That’s not required now,” he explained, adding that while he brings the team sport mentality into his hosting jobs, it’s not always reciprocated,” Strahan said.

“But 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,” he continued. “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,” Strahan added. “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.’”

Although he didn’t anticipate how the world of television could be so individualistic, Strahan stated that he did learn a lot about hosting and interviewing from Ripa.

“I learned so much from Kelly, so much from [executive producer] Michael Gelman,” Strahan said.

“If you look at the show, it really hasn’t changed since Regis [Philbin] started the damn 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,” he described. “She’s brilliant in that way.”

The former NFL star added, “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.”

In May 2016, Ripa shared with PEOPLE that a “part of” her could “understand” how Strahan’s exit was handled and “may have been an oversight.”

“And again, after 26 years, at this point we are like a family,” she said. “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.”

“People make mistakes, and we’re all human,” Ripa told the outlet. “They’re human and I’m human. We all have these moments, and it’s about how you move forward and how you begin again.”

Months later, Strahan revealed to PEOPLE that “The most disappointing thing to me was that I was painted as the bad guy, because I value the way I carry myself. I don’t want people to see me as ‘Oh, he just ran out, just left them there.’ That’s just not true.”

Ripa and Strahan hosted Live together from 2012 to 2016.

Previously, Strahan said to the outlet that he and his then-cohost “didn’t really communicate that much” closer “the end of it all.”

“I kinda looked at it like, ‘It was what it was.’ I come from a business where you have to collaborate,” he said. “The show was going well? We’re all winning. That’s all that matters to me.”

In January 2019, Strahan told Time that he hasn’t spoken to Ripa “in a long time.”

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