Michael Strahan revealed to the staff at ABC that he felt he "couldn't raise his voice" because he is a Black man.
According to Page Six, the former pro footballer detailed incidents of racial discrimination in the workplace at an ABC and Disney town hall on June 4. During this talk with Executive Chairman Bob Iger and other colleagues, "Michael said that there were some very tense situations with executives who got argumentative and loud on the show, and he was very aware he couldn't speak up or raise his voice as he was worried he would be seen as threatening," Page Six reports.
Many in the audience assumed the Good Morning America host was referring to his time on the Live! With Kelly show, Page Six claims. But a source tells E! News that Michael never said Live! specifically. He was talking about his experience at ABC as a whole.
He told the publication that he witnessed "selfish" behavior, by no one in particular, on the set of the talk show, and felt that he was brought on as a "sidekick" to Ripa. However, he also noted that he has nothing but "respect" for Ripa and the show, which Ryan Seacrest later joined. He said, "I cannot say enough about how good she is at her job."
Strahan's comments at the ABC town hall speak to the current climate at the network.
Last week, allegations were brought against ABC News executive Barbara Fedida in a report by The Huffington Post. It was alleged that Fedida made offensive comments about The View host Sunny Hostin and other on-air talent, including Robin Roberts, Kendis Gibson and Mara Schiavocampo, in the past. The Huffington Post claimed these alleged comments led to the hiring of an executive coach for Fedida, and resulted in one confidential settlement with a former ABC News staffer involved racial discrimination allegations.
In a statement to E! News on June 15, ABC said, "There are deeply disturbing allegations in this story that we need to investigate, and we have placed Barbra Fedida on administrative leave while we conduct a thorough and complete investigation. These allegations do not represent the values and culture of ABC News, where we strive to make everyone feel respected in a thriving, diverse and inclusive workplace."
Fedida has denied any allegations of racial discrimination.