Here’s a feud I didn’t see coming: Kelly Ripa versus The Bachelor versus Ellen Pompeo. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Haven’t read the Internet today? No worries. Here’s a full breakdown of this drama, which doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
It all started on Tuesday’s episode of Live With Kelly and Ryan, during which Ripa made a few disparaging comments about the Bachelor franchise. “You know how I feel about this show. It disgusts me,” she said. “And I thought that I was disgusted because I couldn’t stand the idea of 25 exceptional women fighting over one ordinary fella, in my opinion. You know how we feel, ladies! We are too special to be arguing over a guy.” Her words were prompted by news that Hannah Brown, the current Bachelorette, would be appearing on Live With Kelly and Ryan that Thursday (meaning today, May 16).
Ripa’s diss sparked responses from some key players in Bachelor Nation, including its creator, Mike Fleiss, long-running host Chris Harrison, and Colton Underwood, the most recent Bachelor.
“Look out #BachelorNation @KellyRipa is coming after you and your ‘disgusting’ Monday night habit,” Harrison tweeted, while Underwood posted, “How mad is Kelly Ripa going to be when The Bachelor wins an Emmy this year?”
Fleiss’s comment, however, is receiving the most attention. “Easy, @KellyRipa … #TheBachelor franchise pays your salary,” he tweeted on Tuesday, shortly after Live With Kelly and Ryan. (Both Ripa’s show and The Bachelor are on the same network, ABC.)
According to a source who spoke to People magazine, Harrison’s, Underwood’s, and Fleiss’s petty tweets aren’t deterring Ripa in any way. “It seems the fear of rejection runs deep over there,” the source said. “Do these guys really want to bring attention to the fact that people should stop and look more closely at the completely outdated misogynistic nature of this show and its offensive premise of demeaning its participants?”
The insider continued, “[Harrison and Fleiss] can’t handle lighthearted criticism from a successful woman who has been on TV longer than their contestants have been alive. Kelly’s time at Live predates these shows by years, so if anything, her success in syndication and promotion of these shows pays their salaries.”
This all came to a head on Thursday, when Brown appeared on Live and jumped to the Bachelor franchise’s defense. After Ripa reiterated that she isn’t a fan of “women fighting over a guy,” the Alabama beauty queen responded with, “I didn’t really follow the show, wasn’t a big fan. But being a part of the show, it’s not women fighting against each other. Really, some of my best friends came from the show and were really supportive. When you have a group of 30 people together, there’s going to be people who don’t like each other. That’s simple facts.”
Brown added, “Ultimately, it was one of the most empowering things that I ever have done because I had to push myself and grow as an individual. And I did. And I think that’s why I decided that I wanted to be the Bachelorette and wanted that so bad.”
Later, in an interview with Access, Brown said that Ripa is “entitled to have her opinion.”
Interestingly, the person who has the last word in this situation (for now) is Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo, who backed up Ripa on Twitter.
“Okay @fleissmeister… that’s some handle bro! Your show does NOT pay @KellyRipa salary,” she wrote. “Also we don’t attack successful women on our network and men certainly cannot take credit for their success. Don’t get me started on your show cuz I’m a savage…. #bachelorsoooowhite.”
Kelly Ripa hasn’t directly responded to Fleiss’s, Harrison’s, or Underwood’s comments, but we’ll update this post if she does.