The ongoing battle between "Live! with Kelly and Michael" hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan keeps getting messier.
Kelly sent a not-so-subtle message to her bosses as she stepped out of her NYC Upper East Side townhouse on Thursday, April 21. The TV personality was holding a paperback copy of "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants."
This likely means Kelly is prepared to fight the giants at Disney after the blindsiding news that Strahan was leaving their show to head to "Good Morning America."
Reports say she felt particularly betrayed by Strahan, who told her he would be leaving their show in September mere minutes before an official announcement was sent to the press.
According to Page Six, the pair already had a tense relationship and this incident was just the icing on the cake.
Insiders tell the news outlet fans shouldn't be fooled by Kelly and Michael's friendly on-air chemistry. The pair "did not get along. It was all for the show," a Ripa source told Page Six. "They could not stand each other, and whenever they communicated off-camera, it was always through their reps."
Strahan was reportedly acting out on set, allegedly over the stress of co-hosting "Live!" and appearing on "Good Morning America" two days per week.
"He was having temper tantrums. He'd lose it, yelling at [Ripa] and ["Live!" executive producer Michael] Gelman," the source added.
Ripa feels like Strahan should have handled this better, especially since she was instrumental in him getting the job at "Live!" back in 2011.
All of this reportedly fueled her decision to continue her protest of the show by calling in sick again on Thursday, April 21. However, her refusal to go to work is alienating lots of staffers at "Live," according to TMZ. They believe she's jeopardizing their jobs and only thinking about herself.
Production sources tell TMZ the "Live!" crew is worried that her absence will convince ABC to either kill their show, or move it to a later time slot in favor of adding a third hour to to "GMA."
The staff is reportedly worried that they could lose their jobs and believe Ripa is essentially having a "tantrum."
Strahan's team insists he didn't intentionally withhold his job news to hurt his co-host. A rep for the former Giants star tells Page Six he was "under strict orders not to tell anyone" about his move until Tuesday morning when he opened up to Ripa.
Strahan sent his own message while on air Thursday, and it's clear he wants to make peace.
"I'm very thankful for [Kelly], to her, because I've learned so much from her," Strahan said. "And Michael Gelman showed me the ropes. I was so new to all of this, and if it weren't for her and it weren't for Michael Gelman and the staff there that really boosted me up and made me look a lot better than I really am, I never would have had a chance to be here and I'm grateful that I'm here."
- Apr. 21, 2016 Prince's 10 memorable quotes from years past