Michael Strahan leaving Live! with Kelly and Michael

Talk show’s co-host to join cast of Good Morning America

It seems like Kelly Ripa can’t seem to hold down a permanent co-host. When Regis Philbin left the popular morning talk show Live! With Regis and Kelly, there was a period of time where Ripa had guest co-hosts, but couldn’t find a permanent one to replace Philbin. Then, it was announced that popular ESPN reporter Michael Strahan would join Kelly Ripa back in 2012. Since then, Live! With Kelly and Michael has become a popular morning talk show, and the addition of Strahan brought with it a rejuvenation of the show.

Now, though, Strahan is about to leave Live! and will join a new, slightly bigger cast of people on another popular morning talk and news show: Good Morning America (GMA). The move of Strahan from Live! to GMA was announced Tuesday morning. Since it seems like this transition will be natural and smooth, people have already taken to social media and have voiced their personal opinions about who should be the next person to join Ripa on Live!. Many people were quick to suggest possible replacements for Strahan, but critics were quick to notice that an overwhelming amount of the suggestions were male. Why were people avoiding the possibility of a woman being a co-presenter?

Some feel that since it’s always been a male-female dynamic on the show, it should just stay the same. However, there are others that are pushing back against this idea, tired of seeing how old-fashioned the show can be at times. When Philbin was there, it looked like a grandfather and his second wife, or with Strahan, it appeared as though he was more dominant over her because they would walk out holding hands at the beginning of the show. It seems that there is an unbreakable idea that Ripa needs a male host in order to keep attention on the show.

Before Kelly Ripa, Kathy Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin had been the co-hosts of Live!. In an essay penned by Jennifer Lawrence about the wage gap in Hollywood, Gifford, who is now a co-host of the fourth hour of The Today Show, discussed how when she was on Live!, she had to battle with the executives on the show to get her name in the title along with Philbin’s. And things haven’t really changed with this idea that a male host is necessary for Live!. When Kelly Ripa had guest co-hosts on the show, there was a special week of women co-hosts that was specifically named a “female co-host week,” suggesting that it’s unnatural for Ripa to host without a man.

All of this isn’t meant to put down or discount other women who host morning talk shows, such as Gifford and Hoda Kotb on Today, or the women on The View. The problem that underlies these, though, is how they are constantly made fun of and put down by TV and film writers and comedians. Sure, there have been times when it wasn’t just the women hosts, but the shows as a whole were made fun of, which is fair. But it appears that these female-hosted shows are targeted much more frequently than the entire news crew.

Nobody knows what the future holds; the next co-host could be Neil Patrick Harris, or it could be Kelly Osbourne. Instead of worrying about whether they’ll be male or female, try worrying about whether what those possible co-hosts have to say about current issues and topics. At the end of the day, it’s their opinions that will be voiced, and they will have to represent ours. Make sure they’re getting the message right!

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