Good Morning America may be getting a new pair of hosts for its third hour, including openly gay journalist Gio Benitez. On Monday, Benitez and Stephanie Ramos were introduced as temporarily filling in for the regular co-anchors, but a recent scandal may turn the replacement into a permanent gig.
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Of the regular hosts, Ramos casually explained, “Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes have the day off.” But their day off comes a week after the Daily Mail leaked several photos seeming to expose a months-long affair. Robach and Holmes, who have hosted GMA3 since 2020, have each been married to their respective spouses since 2010.
Following the publication of the alleged affair, ABC News president Kim Godwin has announced that Robach and Holmes will be taken off air indefinitely. But the affair is largely fodder for gossip columns—it is not grounds for firing. Godwin herself agrees with this, pointing out that Robach and Holmes haven’t broken any official rules.
“I want to say that while that relationship is not a violation of company policy, I have really taken the last few days to think about and work through what I think is best for the ABC News organization,” Godwin said during an editorial call, per TMZ.
Instead, Godwin framed the affair as a distraction. “This is something we’re not going to talk about on this call until there is more to be said,” she explained. “I’m asking that we stop the whispering in the hallways. You know, we can’t operate with gossip and speculation and rumors. We need to stay focused on the work.”
On the bright side of this news, there’s a chance that GMA3 will have a permanent out gay anchor. Benitez is currently a correspondent for ABC News and the host of Netflix’s I Survived a Crime. He comes from Miami, Florida, his family having emigrated there from Cuba, and he has spoken out about the importance of his heritage as an influence on the stories he covers.
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He has been married to fitness instructor Tommy DiDario since 2016. In 2019, Benitez penned a letter to his younger self in honor of National Coming Out Day, writing, “Though one friend warns, ‘You can’t be gay and successful in the media,’ your colleagues will celebrate you. What’s the big deal?, they’ll wonder, and send you on your next assignment. And when ABC News calls to hire you, your colleagues there will celebrate you, too.
“In fact, when you get engaged and ultimately marry your husband, your colleagues will show your photos and congratulate you on America’s No. 1 morning show, ‘Good Morning America.’”
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