ABC’s history of controversial personalities from Amy Robach to Brian Ross explained

ABC News’ removal of “GMA3: What You Need To Know” co-hosts TJ Holmes and Amy Robach is the latest in a series of scandals for the Disney-owned network and its on-air personalities.

Recent tabloid reports have revealed several candid photos of the two anchors taken in November, even though both have been married to different spouses for over a decade. After Holmes and Robach initially said they would not face disciplinary action for the photos, ABC News president Kim Godwin on Monday told staff they would be taken off the air until an “internal distraction” was resolved.

While the story has been a hot topic over the past few days, it wasn’t the only controversy involving ABC numbers or even the only one involving Robach in the past few years.

In 2019, Robach came under fire when he admitted that his network suppressed a story about sex offender Jeffery Epstein three years before his arrest and eventual suicide.

“GMA3” anchors TJ Holmes and Amy Robach were sidelined on ABC News after their extramarital affair was revealed.
(Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images)


“I’ve had a story for three years … we wouldn’t have aired it,” Robach said. “What we had was incredible, Clinton, we had everything.”

Robach later confirmed the authenticity of the audio, but noted that the story was limited to insufficient corroborating evidence rather than unethical journalism. However, that didn’t stop the network from coming under fire for sitting on the explosive story alongside the mainstream media.

Other Good Morning America hosts and producers have also been embroiled in scandals over the past few years, according to insiders.

In 2021, an ABC producer filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against “GMA” producer Michael Korn. The lawsuit also alleges that anchor George Stephanopoulos learned about the harassment in 2017 but only referred the accuser to managers rather than taking action himself. Stephanopoulos previously faced controversy for not disclosing a $75,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation in 2015.

Ironically, the “GMA” hosts have previously taken a public stand against former ABC News senior vice president of talent Barbara Fedida. Fedida was later placed on administrative leave after he reportedly subjected Robin Roberts to racist remarks.

Good Morning America hosts Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos have faced controversy over the past few years.
(Walt Disney Television via Ida Mae Astute/Getty Images)

“We stand here at the table and want to make one thing clear, and that is our respect and love for our friend and colleague Robin Roberts,” host Dan Harris said on air in 2020.

However, prior to this position, Roberts told actor Jussie Smollett, “This is MAGA country!” After claiming to have been attacked by masked men who screamed, he faced public backlash for giving an interview that many saw as a softball. While there were several issues with Smollett’s claim prior to the interview, Roberts at the time considered the actor a “victim” and said it was a “no-win situation” for him.


One of the most sensational figures at ABC News is former chief investigative reporter Brian Ross. Despite being one of the best-known investigative journalists in the business, Ross soon became known for a series of on-air gaffes, often against conservatives. After the 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Ross suggested that the shooter was linked to the Colorado Tea Party organization, which was based on a member of the group of the same name.

By 2017, he had suspended ABC News with reports that Michael Flynn would testify that Donald Trump ordered him to contact the Russians on foreign policy while Trump was still a presidential candidate. ABC News later had to “clarify” the report, noting that the order came after Trump’s election. Ross finally stepped down in 2018, just months after the big blunder.

Former ABC reporters Michael Flynn falsely claimed that Donald Trump would testify that he ordered contacts with Russian officials while Trump was still a candidate.

Former ABC reporters Michael Flynn falsely claimed that Donald Trump would testify that he ordered contacts with Russian officials while Trump was still a candidate.
(Associated Press)

Some of ABC News’ most controversial members have become hosts of the daytime talk show The View. Some of them have made countless divisive statements, including attacking Republicans and right-wing views, despite often praising a “conservative” member like Alyssa Farrah Griffin.

In February 2022, host Whoopi Goldberg was suspended for two weeks after arguing that the Holocaust was “not about race” and focused primarily on “two groups of white people”. It was seen by many as a weak response from ABC and Disney after the network previously fired actress Roseanne Barr for a controversial tweet.

The network itself has had its fair share of problems. ABC was one of many news networks to ignore the Hunter Biden laptop story ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Additionally, former ABC anchor Chris Cuomo was accused in a 2021 New York Times essay of sexually assaulting a female producer during his tenure at the network.

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