Michael Strahan is opening up about his time as Kelly Ripa's Live co-host, and he makes it clear his turn on the ABC daytime talker was filled with issues.
In an interview with the New York Times Magazine, Strahan teased that he felt like he was not Ripa's equal on the series.
“I didn’t know I was supposed to be a sidekick,” he said.
“I thought I was [going there] to be a partner.”
Strahan stated that he “remained the same person I was from Day 1” of Live.
“[But] when it was time to go, it was time to go. Certain things that were going on behind the scenes just caught up.
“One thing I tried to do is have a meeting every few weeks with her,” he said of his relationship with Ripa.
“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.”
Things took a turn when Ripa reportedly learned of Strahan's imminent departure just one hour before the news was announced publicly.
Strahan was leaving the series to join Good Morning America.
She subsequently took some time off to process the news, but she said the whole scenario “started a much larger conversation about communication and consideration and most importantly respect in the workplace.”
Strahan told the Times that his exit "could have been handled better."
“I didn’t wake up and say, ‘I want a job at GMA," he said.
“I was asked to do it by the people who run the network. It was really not a choice. It was a request," he continued.
"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.”
Strahan even claimed that he no negative feelings about Ripa.
“If people think, ‘Oh, he hates her’ — I don’t hate her,” he said.
“I do respect her for what she can do at her job. I cannot say enough about how good she is at her job.”
Ultimately, Michael was asked what he specifically learned from Ripa during his time on the series.
“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 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. She’s brilliant in that way.”
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.