It took Kelly Ripa more than a year to find the right co-host for Live after Michael Strahan unexpectedly left for Good Morning America. Now, her incredible chemistry with Strahan’s replacement, Ryan Seacrest, is undeniable, but in the midst of the sexual misconduct allegations against him, Ripa is feeling betrayed and torn about standing beside him. Could these skeletons in Seacrest’s closet force Ripa to leave the popular morning show?
According to Life & Style, in the era of the #MeToo and #Time’sUp movements every business is playing it safe, and that means things could change at Live, especially if ratings start to drop and big names start to avoid the show.
“[Kelly’s] waiting to see what happens with Ryan. But [either way] this is a dark period for her,” reveals an insider. “She’s pissed…Kelly feels blindsided. The last thing she needs is celebrities boycotting. Everyone is on pins and needles.”
At this point, Ripa and Seacrest are still interviewing A-listers on the show, but that wasn’t the case when he was on the Oscar red carpet earlier this month. While hosting the E! Live from the Red Carpet Oscar special, Seacrest obviously had a slow night after publicists decided to steer their clients away from him because of the sexual misconduct claims.
This resulted in a 43 percent drop in ratings in key demographics compared to 2017, plus a 35 percent drop in overall number of viewers.
— Variety (@Variety) March 6, 2018
Ripa and her husband, Mark Consuelos, did walk by and acknowledge Seacrest by telling him he looked amazing and was doing a great job, but that doesn’t mean she still isn’t conflicted about the allegations.
She does want to side with her co-host, but no one thought he had any skeletons in the closet, and everyone is asking if he knew this was going to come out.
Ripa did seemingly take a dig at Seacrest on the show late last month when she asked him if he wanted her to put his shoes back on after they talked about having a treadmill day on the show. It seemed to be a reference to the allegations against Seacrest that included him pushing his accuser’s head towards his crotch while she tied his shoes.
But, the next day, Ripa told audiences that she fully supported her co-host, saying that she adores him, and it is a privilege to work with him, and those words led Seacrest to tears.
Oscar emcee Jimmy Kimmel also had no problem talking with Seacrest and avoiding jumping to any conclusions about the allegations. He said that we should afford people the opportunity for truth and find out the facts before hanging someone out to dry.
Live with Kelly and Ryan, starring Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, airs weekday mornings in syndication around the country.