Kelly Ripa Returned to "Live" With a Beautiful Speech About Respect
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Kelly Ripa returned to Live With Kelly and Michael on Tuesday, after a weeklong absence that began following news that her co-host, Michael Strahan, was leaving to join Good Morning America.
“Our long national nightmare is over,” she told the ecstatic audience.
A composed Ripa admitted to needing the time off to “gather my thoughts.” Ripa explained that she “earned the right” to her self-imposed hiatus, before joking, “I know half of you called in sick to be here, so we get each other.”
After Ripa didn’t show up to work last Tuesday, the world of morning television was hurled off its axis. Speculation ran wild as to why Ripa was angry enough to risk staining the brand she’d worked so hard to build.
According to The New York Times, the host feared that Good Morning America had become a priority for ABC, with Live very much an afterthought. Janice Lin of The Hollywood Reporter suggested on CNN that it looked like Ripa was “left out of the game,” in reference to rumors that Ripa found out about Strahan’s departure via the internet, like the rest of us.
The rest of Ripa’s monologue lends credence to both assertions. She “gained perspective,” she added, after getting the requisite jokes out of the way.
“I always speak from my heart. I didn’t want to come out here and say something I will regret. … This started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration and, most importantly, respect in the workplace.”
Ripa added that the show’s parent company assured her that Live is very much a priority and that “apologies have been made.”
She ended by flashing some of the trademark wit and candor that’s made her one of the most beloved personalities in daytime television.
“My dad, who was a bus driver for 30 years, thinks we are all crazy,” she said. “I think he’s right.”
Watch the full monologue below.