Here’s something weirdly refreshing in a depressing sort of way: A male co-anchor of a morning talk show is being accused by his bosses of acting like a “diva” on the job. Square-jawed Good Morning America co-host Josh Elliott apparently snipes at his coworkers and is desperate for praise. Once upon a time, only a woman would have been anonymously smeared as a “diva” in the press. Progress!
Back in August, an anonymous source told Page Six that “golden boy” Elliott acted like “diva” when the cameras aren’t on him. (That’s him doing his best “Blue Steel” above.) Apparently, Elliott “made it fully clear he wants George Stephanopoulos’ job, and is wholly obvious about it. He makes snide comments.” The source said Elliott acted like a “brat,” yelling at staffers and insulting the writers when his microphone is on, so everyone in the studio could hear him.
At the time, GMA’s producer defended Elliott, calling him “the ultimate team player.” But the rumors have resurfaced, and sources now tell Page Six that Elliott was hauled into a meeting with a top producer about his passive-aggressive behavior on the job.
“Josh has major, major issues with women. Josh had a difficult childhood and as a result, has trust issues with females,” a source told Radar earlier this month. “Josh is extremely insecure and needs constant validation from everyone around him about how wonderful he is and what a great job he is doing. Josh doesn’t get along with Lara Spencer at all, and the two have had multiple fights over trivial issues about how stories are covered. The only female Josh hasn’t fought with is Robin Roberts.” The same source called him “high maintenance.”
This is notable not just because everyone loves morning show gossip, which we do. But it’s also interesting, and, dare I say it, meaningful, because Elliott is a man. And men do not often get called “divas” or “high-maintenance” for being demanding on set. They might get labeled “difficult, but that carries an aura of seriousness — think Russell Crowe. “Diva” is a feminine word, and not just because, um, it’s technically a feminine word in Italian. And when you hear “high-maintenance,” do you think of a man or woman? Google-image search the terms if you have any doubt about how they’re gendered in popular culture. So in a weird way, Elliott’s bashing in the press represents progress of a sort: Call it the democratization of “diva.”
Another juicy tidbit for those familiar with local TV in New York: Elliott has apparently been dating local ABC news anchor Liz Cho, who has to be the sexiest news anchor in the city. I am a heterosexual woman, but I am not blind to Liz Cho’s charms. Liz, you can do better than this diva!