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Why Keke Palmer ‘expected’ her ‘Good Morning America’ show to get canceled

Keke Palmer
Actress Keke Palmer recently appeared on “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen.
(Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)

Many “Strahan, Sara and Keke” fans were shocked and disappointed when ABC canceled the popular “Good Morning America” talk show earlier this year. But cohost Keke Palmer saw it coming.

“Here’s the thing,” Palmer told Andy Cohen on Sunday on “Watch What Happens Live.” “When the pandemic hit, that’s what became all on our minds, was the pandemic, corona — understanding COVID. So I kind of knew that if our show did come back, it would have to be much, much, much later, because our show was really about an audience.”

In March, ABC replaced Palmer, Michael Strahan and Sara Haines’ feel-good segment with “Pandemic: What You Need to Know,” a new health-focused series hosted by ABC News anchor Amy Robach. The shuffle came at a time when talk shows across networks were forced to make major changes to heed safety protocols amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“We do a little bit of news, but it’s entertainment,” Palmer said of “Strahan, Sara and Keke” while speaking with Cohen via video chat. “It’s really fun conversations and lighthearted. ... It’s a different time now, so some of the conversation has changed, and I think that kind of pushed ‘SSK’ out. So I expected it.”

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Several Hollywood figures rallied around Palmer in June after a video of the “Hustlers” star engaging with the National Guard at a Los Angeles Black Lives Matter protest went viral. In the footage, Palmer made a powerful plea to the National Guardsmen, encouraging them to leave their posts and march alongside demonstrators in solidarity.

When the guardsmen took a knee instead, Palmer remarked, “That ain’t enough for me.”

“I can’t be mad,” Palmer said Sunday when asked about the protest. “Whenever you go out there, there’s a risk, and there’s a reward. ... I got wrapped up in the emotion and was hoping that we could walk together and just have that powerful moment together. He didn’t want to do it, and it’s OK. But my point of saying it’s not enough for me is that it’s not always enough for us to play it safe. ...

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“There was one time where it was illegal for a Black woman to not give up her seat on the bus, but Rosa [Parks] still did it. ... We’re in a time right now that if we are going to be challenging authority, then this is the time. This is the time to invoke change and get justice and get peace and for us to come together against the things that we’re not with. So that’s what it was about.”

“That ain’t enough for me,” actress Keke Palmer said when National Guardsmen took a knee after she urged them to march alongside protesters in Hollywood.


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