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ABC's history of controversial figures from Amy Robach to Brian Ross explained

FOX News logo FOX News 12/7/2022 Lindsay Kornick
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ABC News’ removal of "GMA3: What You Need to Know" co-hosts T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach only marked the latest in a series of scandals for the Disney-owned network and its on-air personalities.

Recent tabloid reports revealed several intimate photos of the two anchors taken in November despite both of them being married to different spouses for over a decade. After originally telling Fox News Digital that Holmes and Robach would not be disciplined for the images, ABC News President Kim Godwin later informed staffers on Monday that they would be taken off the air until the "internal distraction" could be sorted.

Though the story was a hot topic over the last few days, it was not the only controversy involving ABC figures over the last few years or even the only one involving Robach.

In 2019, Robach was caught on a hot mic admitting that her network squashed a story on sex offender Jeffery Epstein three years prior to his arrest and eventual suicide.

"GMA3" co-hosts TJ Holmes and Amy Robach were sidelines by ABC News following revelations of their extramarital affair. Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images © Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images "GMA3" co-hosts TJ Holmes and Amy Robach were sidelines by ABC News following revelations of their extramarital affair. Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images

ABC PULLS MARRIED ‘GMA3’ ANCHORS AMY ROBACH, T.J. HOLMES OFF AIR AS EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR CAUSES ‘DISTRACTION’ 

"I’ve had the story for three years… we would not put it on the air," Robach said. "It was unbelievable what we had, Clinton, we had everything."

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Robach later confirmed the authenticity of the audio but insisted that the story was limited based on insufficient corroborating evidence rather than unethical journalism. However, this didn’t stop the network, along with the mainstream media, from coming under fire for allegedly sitting on an explosive story.

Other "Good Morning America" hosts and producers were also embroiled in scandals over the last few years, according to insiders.

In 2021, an ABC producer filed a lawsuit against "GMA" producer Michael Corn alleging sexual harassment. The lawsuit also claimed that anchor George Stephanopoulos learned about this harassment as far back as 2017 but only referred the accuser to managers rather than act himself. Stephanopoulos previously faced scandal in 2015 after failing to disclose a $75,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation.

Ironically, "GMA" hosts previously took a public stance against former senior vice president of ABC News talent Barbara Fedida. Fedida was later put on administrative leave after it was reported that she subjected Robin Roberts to racist remarks.

"Good Morning America" anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos have been caught in controversies in the past few years. Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images © Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images "Good Morning America" anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos have been caught in controversies in the past few years. Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

"We here at the desk also want to make something clear, which is that we express our respect and our affection for our friend and our colleague Robin Roberts," co-host Dan Harris said on-air in 2020.

Prior to that stance, however, Roberts was blasted by the public for giving what many people saw as a softball interview to actor Jussie Smollett after he claimed he was attacked by masked men shouting "This is MAGA Country!" Although there were several issues with Smollett’s claim prior to the interview, Roberts considered the actor a "victim" at the time and insisted that it was a "no-win situation" for her.

‘GMA3’ HOST CLAIMS T.J. HOLMES, AMY ROBACH HAD ‘DAY OFF’ AFTER THEY WERE TAKEN OFF AIR AMID AFFAIR REPORTS 

One of the more scandalous figures in ABC News includes former chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross. Despite being one of the more decorated investigative journalists in the business, Ross soon became known for a series of on-air blunders, often against conservatives. Following the Aurora mass shooting in 2012, Ross suggested that the shooter was related to the Colorado Tea Party organization based on a member of the group sharing the same name.

By 2017, he finally earned himself a suspension from ABC News after reporting that Michael Flynn would testify that Donald Trump ordered him to contact Russians about foreign policy while Trump was still a presidential candidate. ABC News was later forced to "clarify" the report, noting that the order came after Trump was elected. Ross finally left his position in 2018, several months after the massive mistake.

Former ABC journalists incorrectly claimed that Michael Flynn would testify that Donald Trump ordered him to contact Russian figures while Trump was still a candidate. Associated Press © Associated Press Former ABC journalists incorrectly claimed that Michael Flynn would testify that Donald Trump ordered him to contact Russian figures while Trump was still a candidate. Associated Press

Some of the most consistently controversial members of ABC News have been the co-hosts of the daytime talk show "The View." Several of them have made countless divisive statements, including attacking Republicans and right-wing views, despite often touting a "conservative" member like Alyssa Farrah Griffin.

In February 2022, co-host Whoopi Goldberg was suspended for two weeks after arguing that the Holocaust "isn't about race" and primarily focused on "two White groups of people." This was seen by many as a weak response by both ABC and Disney after the network previously fired actress Roseanne Barr for a controversial tweet.

The network itself has had its fair share of issues as well. ABC was one of many news networks that overlooked the story surrounding Hunter Biden’s laptop prior to the 2020 presidential election. In addition, Chris Cuomo, who previously worked as an ABC anchor, was accused of sexually harassing a female producer during his time at the network in a New York Times essay released in 2021.

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