This is not the Bachelor drama we were expecting.


What could be better than a week that doubles as the Bachelorette season premiere and Game of Thrones’s series finale? A week that has both of those things but also includes an A-list Bachelor Nation feud that’s playing out across Twitter and morning talk shows alike and is dividing the stars of a major TV network. Drama Goddesses, we bow to you.

Anyway, as you may have heard, Kelly Ripa has invoked the ire of Bachelor Nation’s most prominent, uh, leaders? Ripa used some choice adjectives to describe the reality franchise (“gross” and “creepy” among them), and Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss and host Chris Harrison made their displeasure known. Fleiss went as far as to issue a slightly threatening tweet about Ripa’s “salary.”

Colton Underwood, last season’s titular Bachelor, weighed in on Wednesday as well, tweeting, “How mad is Kelly Ripa going to be when The Bachelor wins an Emmy this year?” It’s never been nominated in the 17 years it’s been on TV, so I wouldn’t bet on it, Colt.

Fellow ABC star, Grey’s Anatomy’s Ellen Pompeo, tweeted at Fleiss in Kelly’s defense on Thursday, writing, “Okay @fleissmeister ... 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. Don’t get me started on your show cuz I’m a savage.... #bachelorsoooowhite.”

Adding to the saga (yes, there’s more!), current Bachelorette, Hannah Brown, appeared on Live with Kelly and Ryan on Thursday morning. Naturally, Ripa didn’t mince words with her guest, telling her exactly how she felt about the idea of women fighting over a man.

Brown was ready to defend her position, telling Ripa, “Like you, I didn’t really follow the show, wasn’t a big fan, but being a part of the show, it’s not really women fighting against each other. Some of my best friends came from the show and were really supportive. When you have a group of 30 people together, there are going to be people who don’t like each other — that’s just simple, facts. But ultimately it was one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done because I’ve had to push myself and grow as an individual and I did, and that’s why I decided I wanted to be the bachelorette and wanted that so bad for myself.”

Sources revealed to People that Ripa thinks Fleiss and Harrison’s responses were ill-advised. “It seems the fear of rejection runs deep over there,” the insider shared. “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?”

“They can’t handle lighthearted criticism from a successful woman who has been on TV longer than their contestants have been alive,” the source continued. “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.”

Now that’s a clapback if ever there was one.