TV personality Michael Strahan still regrets the way he left Live! With Kelly and Michael back in 2016. The Good Morning America cohost recently got candid about how his abrupt departure “could have been handled better.”
“It was treated as if I was the guy who walked in and said, ‘I’m leaving.’ That part was totally misconstrued, mishandled in every way,” he explained to The New York Times. “I didn’t wake up and say, ‘I want a job at GMA.’ I was asked to do it by the people who run the network.”
“It was really not a choice. It was a request,” he added.
Michael tried his best to be as professional as possible, but he admits part of it wasn’t his fault. “People who should have handled it better have all apologized, but a lot of the damage had already been done. For me, it was like: Move on. Success is the best thing. Just keep on moving,” he said.
As for his time on Live! With Kelly and Michael, the former NFL player says the whole thing was an “experience” he’ll never forget. “One thing I tried to do is have a meeting every few weeks with her,” he revealed. “We met a few times, and that was fine. But then eventually she said she didn’t need to meet.”
“Can’t force somebody to do something they don’t want to do,” the $100,000 Pyramid game show host continued. Michael even noted he and Kelly tried their best to not let their offscreen issues get in the way of the show, but “certain things that were going on behind the scenes just caught up.”
Eventually when GMA contacted him about the opportunity, he took it. “When it was time to go, it was time to go,” he said, and added, “[I’ve] remained the same person I was from day one.”
However, Michael harbors no bad feelings towards Kelly or the show. He admits he’s learned a lot from her and he even called her “brilliant.”
“If people think, ‘Oh, he hates her’ — I don’t hate her. I do respect her for what she can do at her job,” he said. “I cannot say enough about how good she is at her job.”