Kelly Ripa finally returned to Live! With Kelly and Michael today, and is it just me, or did her speech kind of ignore some important questions?
Ripa entered the show’s set holding hands with her co-host, Michael Strahan, and then took a few minutes to address the audience solo.
“Guys, guys, guys, guys — our long national nightmare is over,” she first joked. “Look, I am fairly certain that there are trained professional snipers with tranquilizer darts in case I drift too far off message.
“I want to honestly and sincerely thank you for welcoming me back to the show. The show of support to this bizarre time has been overwhelming,” she continued. “I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts. After 26 years with this company, I earned the right… In that time, I gained some perspective. I always speak from the heart so I didn’t want to come out here and say something I regret.”
According to Ripa, the whole incident started discussions of “communication, consideration and most importantly, respect in the workplace.”
She continued, “Since we’re being honest, I don’t consider this just a workplace — this is my second home. This is a place that I devoted myself to, not just because of you, our loyal viewers, but because of all of the producers and the crew who work on this show. We have an incredible team and we are devoted to one another. We are family.”
That’s all great, but Ripa didn’t really address the actual reason she left the show in the first place. It was announced last week that Strahan would be leaving Live! this fall to take a co-hosting gig on Good Morning America and according to reports, Ripa only heard the news when the rest of the world was hearing it: when ABC released a press release making the announcement.
According to sources who spoke to People magazine, Ripa was, understandably, “completely blindsided” and “betrayed and hurt” by the network’s actions. But that was an issue she glossed over during her Tuesday speech on Live! In fact, the only reference she even made to the scandal itself was to say that “apologies have been made.”
After walking off the air for nearly a week, and all the media coverage that followed Ripa’s boycott, one would think she would take more time to address the elephant in the room.