Not Equal Partners: What Kelly Ripa's Behavior Really Means

Is anyone else ticked off about the way this Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa fiasco has gone down?

Good, I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Let me go on record as saying, I really don't watch much morning TV, so I haven't seen very much of Live with anyone, but when I saw the way celebrities, including Oprah, reporters and even the general public were all jumping to defend Kelly Ripa's temper tantrum over the announcement of Michael Strahan leaving Live with Kelly and Michael, I was surprised.

It's not at all uncommon for people to leave positions for one reason or another. The days of starting and retiring at the same company are quite unusual, and particularly in entertainment, sometimes you have to move on to grow your following, your brand or even just for a better fit. So I was perplexed by why Kelly appeared to be so dismayed.

Was she really as "sources" claimed hurt by the lack of communication? Did she feel that she and Michael were bosom buddies and that he had somehow betrayed her? Had the parent company broken some unwritten rule about not telling her, in advance, about someone else's job opportunity?

And then I thought, GIVE ME A BREAK!

Since when does a co-worker OWE a co-worker prior knowledge of his or her decision to move on? Did I miss the part of the employee handbook that says if you get an opportunity to grow your brand, your portfolio or your bank account, that you're somehow obligated to pass a note in the hallway to let your cubicle mate in on the secret? In this day and age, it's not unheard of for a deal to fall through at the last minute for any number of reasons so it would be unwise, and maybe even foolish to think that anyone should start discussing a deal before it is done.

When I left my job in education to start my coaching practice, I didn't ask everyone's opinion. Although I cared for all my co-workers, they were let in on the news at the same time as my employer. I talked to my husband and family for advice and information and made the decision that was right for me, but my momma didn't raise no fool, I didn't go shouting to the rooftops until I had something to shout about.

But here's what ruffled my feathers about this situation, not only did people expect Michael to do more than that, they somehow justified Kelly's display of disgust as she reacted so poorly to his decision. Fans cheered and applauded her like she was some kind of victim emerging from the ruble during what should have been a time of celebration for a professional who is doing quite an excellent job building a second career for himself.

Not only did Michael not owe her a huge explanation for what he does with his life, he also doesn't deserve the periodic shady comments she's throwing his direction as she continues to play the victim in a completely victimless scenario. He's handling it all very well and yet there is an absence of conversation about how unprofessional the whole thing really is.

Guess what? People leave jobs, they do. Sometimes, even when we get along, co-workers are just that. Not friends, not family, just co-workers. We work together for a common goal and do it professionally. But that doesn't mean that we are besties or hanging out on the weekend, or that there is an implied or confirmed trust.

A better question might even be, what do we think would have happened if Kelly had been the one who decided to leave, you know like she did from All My Children, and Michael had run off for a week? Do we think he would have been given an open space to vent his opinions about feeling disrespected? Would he be allowed to bring up his opinion about Kelly's family life, making jokes that clearly make her uncomfortable? Would everyone have tiptoed around him saying how things should have been handled?

I doubt it.

I'm going there are you ready? If the black man had done any of this they would have been on him like white on rice. When Cam Newton excused himself from the podium after the superbowl, the collective public had a literal fit about his unprofessionalism. He later said, he did what Kelly claims she was doing, removing himself from a situation to avoid saying something he would regret after he felt disrespected. Why does Kelly get a pass and he doesn't?

You know why.

Now is Kelly wrong for possibly worrying about her own future? Nope. It's possible that Michael leaving is a signal that the show is on its' last legs. Does she have to pull out the pom poms and turn a cartwheel to pretend to show her support, if that's not how she feels? Of course not. But to quote Iyanla, we need to call a thing a thing. And Kelly, I'm calling foul on all these shenanigans. So please have several seats.

Michael, best of luck in your new endeavors, I can only imagine that there are multiple reasons you were ready to leave.