It’s been two years since Michael Strahan parted ways with Live! and his co-host of four years, Kelly Ripa, for the sunny shores of fellow ABC show Good Morning America. With the passage of time and the benefit of hindsight, Strahan is now able to fully reflect on his Live! departure — and it turns out, he is totally, absolutely, 100 percent cool with the way things ended between him, Ripa and Live! It’s a bold development for Strahan, but it certainly shows where his head is at these days (read: not focusing on the past, especially the negative parts of his past).
Strahan’s unapologetic feelings about his departure from Live! came out during an interview on In Depth With Graham Bensinger. During the taped interview, Bensinger pivoted the conversation to the fun way Strahan got the Live! gig (having a boatload of fun guest-hosting with Channing Tatum) and then to his feelings about the then-gossip-ridden way he departed from the show.
Strahan seemed to reply readily, casually and kindly to Bensinger’s question about whether he would have handled his exit any differently if he could go back. “There’s nothing I would have done differently,” Strahan replied. “I handled it as professional as you can handle it, and I have been a professional from day one there to the last day I left… I had the opportunity to do something that most people don’t — I got a chance to evolve, to do different, creative things.”
Just reading Strahan’s reply as written or watching his comments live in the video above (skip to the 2:30 mark), you might get the impression that he’s been super zen about this entire Live! exit dust-up from the get-go. However, back in 2016, things felt a lot saltier between all parties involved. Strahan’s exit was a bit of a surprise back then, with the announcement seeming to come out of nowhere.
The ensuing controversy came from the confusion and hurt that Ripa reportedly felt in somehow being the last person to find out that her co-host was leaving for GMA. Even though Ripa attempted to quell the controversy on Live!, she was still the last to receive word that Strahan’s departure was moved up to May 2016 from September 2016 and that he was leaving for GMA after doing a contributor stint on the show while on Live!, promising he’d remain loyal to Live! in the process; alas, that was not the case.
But it seems like it’s all in the past now, so let’s take a page out of Strahan’s book, shall we, and go onward and upward.