'The Bachelor' Host Chris Harrison and Series Creator Slam Kelly Ripa's 'Gross' Remarks

Kelly Ripa drew the ire of Bachelor Nation this week when she slammed the ABC reality show, calling it "gross."

Ripa began discussing The Bachelor on the Tuesday, May 14 episode of LIVE with Kelly and Ryan after she mistakenly thought Cassie Randolph was the newest Bachelorette before co-host Ryan Seacrest corrected her and told her it was Hannah Brown.

"You guys, you know how I feel about the show. It disgusts me," Ripa said. "I can't stand the idea of 25 exceptional women fighting over one ordinary fella, in my opinion. You know how I feel, ladies, we are too special to be arguing over a guy."

"Having said that...All of you women watch that gross, gross show," she told her audience.

She also addressed The Bachelorette itself, recalling that after The Bachelor premiered in 2002, "I was like, 'How come they don't have a woman with men fighting over her? How come they don't do that show?'"

When The Bachelorette did arrive in 2003, Ripa told Seacrest, "I found that show just as creepy but in a completely different way. I was like, 'Ew, eww, ewww.'"

In response, Bachelor host Chris Harrison and show creator Mike Fleiss both weighed in on Twitter, with Harrison tweeting, "Look out [Bachelor Nation] ⁦[Kelly Ripa⁩] is coming after you and your 'disgusting' Monday night habit."

Fleiss added, "Easy, [Kelly Ripa] ... [The Bachelor] franchise pays your salary!," referring to the fact that ABC produces and distributes LIVE with Kelly and Ryan and also airs The Bachelor and its spinoffs.

Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo later waded into the fray, telling Fleiss, "we don't attack successful women on our network." Grey's Anatomy also airs on ABC.

Pompeo had been on a short hiatus from social media but explained to a follower, "Took a break but had to jump back in the ring for my girl [Kelly Ripa]."

On Thursday, Brown appeared on LIVE with Kelly and Ryan and addressed Ripa's comment during her segment.

"I am very against women fighting over a guy. I don't believe in it. I think it's — you know, weird and sets us back," Ripa told her. "But now, you are in the power position. So take me through that. How does that work?"

"Like you, I didn't really follow the show. I wasn't a big fan," Brown replied. "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 just simple facts...It was one of the most empowering things that I ever did because I had to grow as an individual. That is why I decided that I wanted to be the Bachelorette. That's why I wanted that so bad."


The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: Getty / Dominik Bindl