The daytime world was shocked this week when news spread that Live! with Kelly and Michael co-host Michael Strahan is leaving the talk show for a gig at Good Morning America. But word is Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley Santos, All My Children), who's been co-hosting the show since 2001, was the most shocked of all.
The Wrap reports that the former soap opera actress was "kept in the dark" about Strahan jumping ship. TMZ described Ripa as being "caught off guard" and "livid" for what she sees as Disney disrespecting her long-running show.
And when Ripa didn't show up to work today -- when Strahan officially announced the news that he's leaving -- the rumors that her absence was an intention snub spread like wildfire.
Whether or not Ripa's absence today was previously scheduled or if it was a reaction to the Strahan drama, a rep for the talk show simply stated, "Kelly had the day off today."
While some may understand why Ripa might be hurt or upset (if her absence was indeed related to her co-host's departure), others are jumping at the chance to attack the daytime favorite.
"Kelly Ripa is so upset about Strahan she can't show up to a job that pays her $36,000 an hour. I mean this guy, really?" stated Jon "Stugotz" Weiner, co-host of ESPN's The Dan Le Batard Show in a segment called I mean this guy, really?.
Strahan ended today's show by saying, "Kelly welcomed me here, and I've learned so much from her -- and she's just been an amazing influence on me, and this has truly changed my life to be with her... Kelly, I thank you, I love you."
At the time this article was posted, Ripa had yet to comment on the changes at Live!, and it's unclear when she'll be back on-screen. She's scheduled to be off until at least next Tuesday.
Do you think Ripa's absence today was related to Michael Strahan's departure? If so, do you think she was justified in not showing up to work? Who would you like to see replace Strahan as Ripa's new co-host? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.