Good Morning America Scandals You Never Knew About

Good Morning America is one of the country's top-rated morning news programs, but if tabloid rumors are true, it's also the show with the most backstage drama. Who's the diva on set? Which anchors can't get along? Find out why GMA sometimes makes the news instead of reporting it.

Did Michael Strahan choose his vaca over Hurricane Harvey?

Michael Strahan's run on Good Morning America has been plagued by nasty rumors. Included on the list: a September 2017 report from Page Six alleging that he ticked off ABC News when he refused to cut short his holiday to cover Hurricane Harvey — the storm that devastated his hometown.

"ABC News asked Strahan to come home from his vacation. He's from Houston. But he refused and is still floating around on a yacht in Greece somewhere. ABC is really upset with him," claimed one source. Another alleged the network "just cannot believe he didn't come back." Others downplayed the situation. A senior executive producer of Good Morning America insisted the team "spoke with [Strahan] every day. Michael was very clear he wanted to be part of the coverage, and we decided the best plan was for him to lead the charge covering the recovery."

Whatever the case, Strahan was back on the air by Sept. 5, 2017.

Amy Robach lobs a racial slur on air

In August 2016, Amy Robach found herself in hot water when she used the racial slur "colored people" while discussing a report on the controversy over casting actress Zendaya to play Mary Jane in 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming.

According to People, Robach apologized for her "mistake" that same day, telling The Associated Press that she meant to say "people of color" on air and that what she actually said was "not at all a reflection of how I feel or speak in my everyday life." Still... Oof.

Robin Roberts was threatened by a stalker

In 2014, Page Six reported that a 43-year-old man named Troy Warren was arrested after showing up to the Good Morning America studios and threatening anchor Robin Roberts. Warren reportedly told GMA's security director that Roberts owed him money, saying, "When I see her, I'm going to punch her in the face." According to Page Six, Warren visited the studio eight times between June 10 and June 24 of that year.

The report came nearly a month after a homeless man dropped by GMA's Times Square studio and threatened to stab talk show host Michael Strahan with a knife.

Does Ginger Zee have a helicopter husband?

If sources for Radar Online are to be believed, Ginger Zee's husband, TV personality Ben Aaron was a headache for producers when his wife competed on Dancing with the Stars. "He has been telling the DWTS producers how to write and film the video packages that air before each of his wife's performances," sources claimed. "Naturally, he thinks he should be in each video." 

Things allegedly got so bad that producers had to tell Zee to "get [Aaron] to back off." Apparently, it worked. "Ben has been receiving much less camera time on the show and has been moved from the best seats in the front row to the sides," the source claimed.

Roberts waited years to come out as gay

At the end of 2013, Robin Roberts officially came out as gay by thanking her girlfriend of ten years, Amber Laign, in a Facebook post that detailed Roberts' long and painful battle with MDS, or myelodysplastic syndrome. Roberts, whose sexuality was the subject of rumors for years, was criticized by some for not coming out sooner.

In an interview with Parade magazine, Roberts said her reservations had a lot to do with protecting her girlfriend's privacy. "News flash: Some people like their anonymity," she said. "This is what's right for me. Love is love, and I'm grateful to have that. Sometimes there's a stigma attached to how people view you if you're living a certain way." She continued, "But I don't care; you gotta live your life. You gotta find what happiness is and what it means for you, and you can't get caught up in what someone is saying about you on Twitter. You don't go through a year like I did to not be happy and not make your own choices."

Strahan's exit blindsided Kelly Ripa

Michael Strahan's acrimonious departure from Live! with Kelly and Michael to work for Good Morning America in 2016 felt botched from start to finish. Co-host Kelly Ripa reportedly felt so blindsided by news of Strahan's departure in April 2016 — finding out right before the rest of the world — that she immediately took some unplanned vacation, leaving her partner high and dry to announce his exit on the air without her. When she eventually returned to work, Ripa delivered a now-famous opening monologue about "respect in the workplace."

The weeks that followed were fraught with awkward moments. During one episode, Ripa made a thorny joke about contract negotiations, and during another, she brought up Strahan's highly-publicized divorces, much to his uncomfortable surprise. TMZ sources said Ripa "made it clear she'd be a happy camper" if Strahan left the show before his originally scheduled departure in September 2016, and he did, bidding audiences adieu in May 2016. 

Ripa managed to pull it together to wish Strahan a fond farewell on his last day. "We are so, so proud of you," she said. "We achieved so much together and I look forward to watching you every morning and seeing what else you achieve." Something tells us, Ripa isn't tuning in.

Rumor has it: Lara Spencer and Amy Robach 'hate' each other

What would a successful morning news program be without some alleged backstage drama? According to TMZ, Lara Spencer and Amy Robach "hate" each other and "can't hide their contempt." Even worse, TMZ claimed the senior vice president of ABC News, James Goldston, actually confronted Robach and called her "toxic" for creating on-set tension.

Spencer and Robach denied their feud in a video broadcast by TMZ in April 2014, but that didn't do much to stop the bleeding. The next day, sources for Radar Online also spilled the beans on their alleged feud, claiming Robach hated Spencer because she "shamelessly flirts" with men on set and allegedly abandoned Robach during her breast cancer battle.

Roberts may be 'captain' of the divas

More signs of tension on the GMA set leaked in 2014 when ABC allegedly buried news of Lara Spencer's promotion to co-host in an internal memo. According to sources for TMZ, the awkward timing was deliberate. On the one hand, the network allegedly gave Spencer a title bump to keep her happy after her colleague (and rumored rival), Amy Robach, was promoted a few weeks prior. On the other hand, the network supposedly couldn't make a big deal out of it because "[Robin Rberts] can be quite a diva, and GMA didn't want to ruffle her feathers," TMZ reported. That might explain why the memo referred to Roberts as "the captain of our team." Ah, office politics.

Roberts has a controversial connection to Mississippi

In April 2016, gay and lesbian magazine The Advocate criticized Roberts for appearing on the cover of Mississippi's official tourism guide because the state had passed what the magazine called "a pro-discrimination law, allowing businesses, individuals and broadly defined 'religiously affiliated organizations' to refuse service to LGBT people, single mothers, and others who somehow offend an individual's 'sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction' regarding marriage and sexuality."

The controversy prompted a quick response from the native Mississippian, who told The Advocate that she was interviewed and photographed for the publication "well before recent events." Roberts added, in part: "My longtime partner, Amber, and I have always felt welcomed in my home state, and it hurts my soul to think of anyone not feeling welcome ... I'm proud that my beloved mother and father taught me as a child growing up in Mississippi to focus on the many things we all have in common, not our few differences. And what we all deserve to have in common is the right to be treated equally."

George Stephanopoulos gave money to the Clintons

ABC reportedly went into "crisis" mode in May 2015 after George Stephanopoulos admitted to donating $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation since 2011, according to Page Six. At the time, sources feared Stephanopoulos would suffer a similar fate as NBC rival Brian Williams, who was suspended by NBC News earlier that year for exaggerating past reporting.

Stephanopoulos wound up apologizing twice on air — first on Good Morning America, then again on his Sunday political program This Week — amid concerns that his reporting would not remain objective. "Even though I made [the donations] to support work done to stop the spread of AIDS, help children, and protect the environment in poor countries, I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict," Stephanopoulos said on GMA. "I apologize to all of you for failing to do that."

The veteran news anchor weathered the storm relatively smoothly, and the network stood by him throughout the scandal. In fact, his only major punishment was self-inflicted. Politico said he withdrew himself from moderating a Republican debate scheduled in February 2016.