Kelly Ripa returned to the show and made a powerful statement about respect in the workplace. She thanked the fans for their support.
She was greeted with tremendous applause as she entered the set and then became tearful as the guests continued clapping.
She had this to say,
‘Guys, guys, guys. Our long national nightmare is over.
‘Look, I’m going to be completely honest. I’m fairly certain that there are trained professional snipers with tranquilizer darts in case I drift too far off message.
‘I first want to honestly, sincerely thank you for welcoming me back to the show. The love, the show of support through this bizarre time has been really overwhelming.
‘I really … I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts. After 26 years with this company, I earned the right. And let’s be honest, I know half of you called in sick to be here, so we get each other!
‘In that time, I gained some perspective. I always speak from the heart. I didn’t want to come out here and just, like, say something I might regret.
‘So what transpired though, over the course of a few days, has been extraordinary – in the sense that it started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration and, most importantly, respect in the workplace.
‘And since we’re being honest, I don’t consider this just a workplace. This is my second home. This is a place that I’ve devoted myself to – not just because of you, our loyal viewers, but because of all of the producers and the crew who work on this show.
‘We have an incredible team. We are incredibly devoted to one another. We are family.
‘Apologies have been made, and the best thing to come out of all of this, you guys, is that our parent company has assured me that Live is a priority.
‘But there is a commitment to this show; and to the people that work here; and most importantly to you, the viewers, who have watched us every day for 30 years.
‘I am thrilled for Michael. I’m thrilled for you. This is a tremendous opportunity and I couldn’t be, and we couldn’t be, prouder of you. And everything we accomplished together.
‘So, back to the show. This is entertainment. It’s supposed to be entertaining! So let’s get back to what we do best and start the show.
‘Oh, wait. Incidentally, I just want to say one thing. My dad, who was a bus driver for 30 years, thinks we’re all crazy!
‘And I think he’s right. I think he’s right.’