Kelly Ripa ruffled some feathers this week when, during a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live, she opened up about her eldest son Michael Consuelos moving out of the family home to his own apartment in Bushwick. However what should have been a rather benign discussion resulted in backlash.
“You know I think he loves the freedom, he hates, uh, paying his own rent and he is chronically poor,” she told Kimmel. “I don’t think he ever experienced, you know, extreme poverty, like now.” She went on to recount how her parents always send her children Halloween cards with $20 bills in them, and that until now, the 22-year-old had never appreciated the money.
“Now that he’s living on his own, he’s called three times, ‘Halloween envelope arrived?’ Just so he can have electricity, she quipped. “He’s experiencing being an adult.”
Given the price of rent in Bushwick to begin with, clearly her son is not experiencing anywhere close to “extreme poverty,” and though her remarks were clearly not intended to be serious, she faced backlash nonetheless. It also doesn’t help that Ripa is widely reported to make $20 million per year for Live With Kelly and Ryan.
The following day, Ripa posed for an Instagram photo with Michael, leading to a female commenter asking if her son had dropped out of school. “Last night on Kimmel you made a reference he used to go to school,” she wrote. “Did he ever have a job? Sure are getting a lot of slack for all the talk about him.”
The no-nonsense 49-year-old daytime host responded accordingly:
“Michael goes to college and is a senior and works full time. He is in his first non-parent subsidized apt with roommates. I’m used to getting a lot of slack because people love to have fake outrage over something they didn’t see. They only read a headline and wag their tired fingers. I didn’t grow up privileged and neither did [husband Mark Consuelos]. We work and we expect our kids to as well. And the fact that a pack of fools want to bitch about that, I say let ’em.”
That may be all well and good, but if Ripa wants to avoid outrage, it’s probably best to keep “poverty” remarks, much less “extreme poverty,” to a minimum.