Kelly Ripa, the South Jersey-born host of Live with Kelly and Michael, is currently covered in a whole lot of slung mud. On Tuesday, ABC announced her cohost, Michael Strahan, would depart Live for Good Morning America. On Wednesday, Ripa wasn't on the broadcast when Strahan announced the news to his audience that come September, he'd be on TV earlier in the morning. And she reportedly will stay away from the show until early next week.
Now, a torrent of stories have appeared about the internal strife on the show, but a lot of them carry a certain slant: Kelly Ripa is being a brat. Words like "diva" and phrases like "threw a fit" are being put into headlines and paired with pictures of Ripa looking pissed, even though said pictures were taken months, perhaps years, ago. But as long she looks angry, the pics fit the story.
But, really, why isn't Kelly Ripa allowed to be angry? Why can't she throw a fit?
According to various sources, Ripa was told of Strahan's departure 20 minutes before the official announcement came out from ABC. Ripa was similarly told only 20 minutes before her show taped that her previous cohost, Regis Philbin, was announcing his retirement. She has been cohosting this show for 16 years, and she gets a 20-minute heads up that her entire show was about to be thrown into chaos? Even Oprah said that wasn't cool. Yeah, let's let the woman seethe for a bit. According to the New York Times, she even said she knew that Strahan would depart for Good Morning America after he started acting as a special correspondent for the sagging morning show.
But, yeah, Kelly Ripa is a brat.
Let's not forget that Ripa taught Strahan how to be a TV host. It doesn't matter how much natural charisma Strahan has, he was still a person who was not well-versed in the rituals of morning show hosting. In those early years, Ripa, who predated Strahan on Live by a decade, handheld the retired New York Giant until he became good enough to even entertain a spot on GMA. Strahan admitted as much.
But, sure, Kelly Ripa is a diva.
Ripa and her reps will certainly start crafting their own media narratives soon: She was blindsided and shocked, she skipped out on the shows because of her 20th wedding anniversary. There's a million things they could do to make the affable Ripa come off looking like the victor in this situation.
But what we should be examining here is why Kelly Ripa isn't allowed to be angry and why the "proper" reaction is for her to sit by dociIely. We're not cool with a woman like Ripa, who is powerful in her own right, getting angry publicly.