Updated at 12/5/2022 at 11:07 a.m. ET:
Well, that escalated quickly.
Variety is reporting that ABC News President Kim Godwin held an editorial call on Monday where employees were told that T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach “will be benched from” hosting GMA 3 “while the news division weighs the effect their recent disclosure of a romantic relationship might have on the program and the company.”
According to Variety’s source, Godwin said that the hosts didn’t violate company policy but ABC News, “wanted to do what’s best for the organization.”
See the original story below:
Workplace romances are a bad idea under the best circumstances. No matter how professional everyone tries to be, someone in the office always ends up hurt or offended. The latest public figures to find themselves caught in this trap are GMA 3 hosts T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach. The twosome recently found themselves in a firestorm of criticism as news of their alleged affair broke the internet.
After photos of the co-workers looking extremely cozy were published, stories about when their possible romance started and what their spouses knew circulated around the internet. While some reports stated that Holmes and Robach were cheating on their partners for months, others say the relationship began after they each were separated. Honestly, no one other than the four parties involved may ever really know the truth and frankly, those are questions for their families. However, as Holmes and Robach’s employer, ABC may have some very different questions about how the public reacts to this scandal.
Per The New York Post, network executives have had “emergency meetings” about the situation, and as with everything in television “it’s ultimately about the ratings.” The Post’s source says that as of right now, the hosts will “keep their jobs if their ratings hold up.” Since executives only think with their wallets, I can see why they’re excited that this scandal may lead to more eyeballs on the show. But how long will that bump in viewers last? If it’s confirmed that the co-hosts actually did cheat on their spouses, how forgiving will the fans be? Also, let’s talk about the ugly elephant in the room: there’s a segment of the audience that will not be comfortable with the idea of an interracial couple hosting their favorite upbeat morning talk show.
Here’s the thing: if this goes wrong, Holmes has a lot more to lose than Robach. In a worst case scenario situation where there’s loud backlash or the ratings take a nosedive, ABC could decide to clean house and bring in new hosts or just cancel the show altogether. In this case, Robach will find another place to land, getting the career restart we’ve seen so many white personalities benefit from. A few well-placed apologies and tears will have her back on TV in time. For Holmes though, things will be much more difficult.
Let’s be honest: T.J. has alienated Black women with the way he treated his wife Marilee Fiebig, who was reportedly “blindsided” by the news as she thought they were trying to reconcile. This means when all hell breaks loose, it’s going to be much harder for him to find cover with Black audiences. It’s hard enough for Black anchors to break into the news world and a scandal like this could make him untouchable for a while. No matter how all this turns out, this is now his legacy. This scandal will always be a part of his google search and for a lot of viewers and TV execs, it will be the first line of his bio. His years in the business may not provide him the understanding and grace he thinks it will. While it’s a completely different situation, Will Smith is finding out right now that the apology tour is much longer and harder for Black men.
Holmes and Robach can laugh and joke on-air all they want. The hard truth is having a scandalous romance with your co-host is just not a good look. And if there’s ugly fallout, Robach’s career will likely recover, while T.J. could find himself on the outside looking in.