“Okay @feissmeister… that’s some handle bro! Your show does NOT pay @KellyRipa salary. Also we don’t attack successful women on our network and men certainly cannot take credit for their success,” she fumed in a tweet. “Don’t get me started on your show cuz I’m savage…. #bachelorsoooowhite”
The star of ABC’s long-running Grey’s Anatomy added when a follower asked what was happening, “Took a break but had to jump bank in the ring for my girl @KellyRipa.”
The ABC reality show and spin-off The Bachelorette have long faced criticism for not including more people of color. In the two programs’ combined 38 seasons, there have been only two non-white leads: Juan Pablo Galavis and Rachel Lindsay.
Ripa, 48, ignited the firestorm this week when she shaded The Bachelorette on her ABC talk show on Tuesday, May 14. “You guys know how I feel about the show … it disgusts me,” she said. “I couldn’t stand the idea of 25 exceptional women fighting over one ordinary fella, in my opinion.”
“We are too special to be arguing over a guy,” she added. “[It’s a] gross, gross show.”
Chris Harrison, who hosts both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, was quick to throw shade back at the TV personality. “Look out #BachelorNation @KellyRip is coming after you and your ‘disgusting’ Monday night habit,” he tweeted later that day.
Fleiss chimed in, tweeting, “Easy, @KellyRipa … #TheBachelor franchise pays your salary!”
He later retweeted The Bachelorette’s May 15 tweet saying, “It’s about to be the most dramatic @LiveKellyRyan. Hannah is coming by tomorrow and we want to hear what she has to say.” Hannah Brown is the star of the show’s 15th season.
Ripa didn’t shy away from the controversy when Brown appeared on her show Thursday. “I am very against women fighting over a guy. I don’t believe in it,” the Live host insisted. “I think it’s … weird, and sets us back.”
Brown defended the show, saying that it’s not about “women fighting against each other.”
“When you have a group of 30 people together, there’s going to be people who don’t like each other. That’s just simple facts,” she told Ripa. “It was one of the most empowering things that I ever did because I had to grow as an individual. That’s why I decided that I wanted to be the Bachelorette.”