In case you missed it, Kelly Ripa ignited a full-on feud this week by slamming The Bachelor franchise on Live with Kelly and Ryan. Her remarks came as her co-host Ryan Seacrest was announcing that current Bachelorette Hannah Brown would be appearing on the show Thursday. “Guys, you know how I feel about this show,” she said. “It disgusts me.”
“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,” she continued — although “exceptional” might be stretching it a bit, in some cases. “You know how I feel, ladies: We are too special to be arguing over a guy.”
On one hand, The Bachelor is just a silly show, so calm down Kelly Ripa. But on the other hand, the world is a much different place than it was when the reality dating show premiered in 2002 so maybe she has a point?
At any rate, her remarks did not sit well with The Bachelor host and creator, Chris Harrison And Mike Fleiss. Later that day Harrison tweeted: “Look out #BachelorNation Kelly Ripa is coming after you and your ‘disgusting’ Monday night habit.”
Fleiss also tweeted at Ripa, taking it a gross step further by insinuating that The Bachelor pays her salary:
For what it’s worth, the ratings for Monday’s season 15 premiere of The Bachelorette were at a “record low for the franchise,” with the episode being down seven percent for the 18 to 49 age range and down 15 percent from last year’s summer premiere.
Now, anonymous ABC executives are speaking out and it’s clear that the network is #TeamKelly on the feud, as evidenced by what one executive told PEOPLE:
“It seems the fear of rejection runs deep over there. 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these guys really want to bring attention to the fact that people should stop and look more closely at the completely outdated misogynistic nature of this show and its offensive premise of demeaning its participants?”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 asked.
According to the source, “They can’t handle lighthearted criticism from a successful woman who has been on TV longer than their contestants have been alive,” adding, “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.”
Another source told the Daily Mail that “apparently these two jokers can’t handle it when a sober, opinionated woman over 22 years old isn’t afraid to talk back to them.”
‘These two guys are dinosaurs. They have outdated views about misogynistic treatment of women and how the business of television actually works.
‘It’s ironic. Chris [Harrison] co-hosted the show, so Live actually did pay his salary.’
When Brown, 24, eventually appeared on Thursday’s Live, Ripa made her feelings clear. “I’m not sure if they told you backstage, I’m not behind this at all,” she quipped. “You blink twice, I will get you out of here. All you have to do is look at me and blink, and I will show you the way.”