Bachelor Nation is circling the wagon after the franchise came under fire from Live With Kelly And Ryan host Kelly Ripa, and Colton Underwood is now among the show’s alums chiming in.
Ripa ripped the reality dating show as “creepy” and “gross” on her show Tuesday morning, saying it disgusted her to see women pitted against each other in pursuit of a man for the entertainment of viewers. Ripa reserved the same criticism for The Bachelorette, saying it was also “creepy,” but in a different way.
It was her biting criticism of The Bachelor that caught the most attention, however.
“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,” Kelly said, via ET Online. “Having said that… All of you women watch that gross, gross show.”
Kelly Ripa has long been a critic of the show, but her characterization this week seemed to touch a nerve with those associated with the show, prompting many to speak out against her.
The first response was from host Chris Harrison, who warned Bachelor Nation that Kelly Ripa was “after you and your ‘disgusting’ Monday night habit.” Show creator Mike Fleiss also took to Twitter to point out that The Bachelor “pays your salary.”
Bachelor star Colton Underwood has now joined in, adding a snarky dig at Kelly Ripa.
“How mad is Kelly Ripa going to be when The Bachelor wins an Emmy this year?” he wrote on Twitter, adding” #ThankYouForYourConsideration.”
Others have chimed in, adding to Underwood’s sentiment. Bachelor alum Arie Luyendyk Jr. said in an Instagram Story that he was upset over the criticism, saying the show is about love, and that there was no reason to harbor so much animosity toward it.
But others now stand behind Kelly Ripa as well, agreeing with her sentiment that the show is damaging to women. Actress Ellen Pompeo has backed up Ripa, responding to Fleiss on Twitter by saying the show isn’t responsible for paying her salary — and that they should not “attack successful women on our network.” Pompeo went on to write that men should not take credit for the successes earned by these women. She added the hashtag #bachelorsoooowhite, echoing another criticism that the show has traditionally done a poor job of representing men and women of color. In the 23 seasons of The Bachelor franchise, it has never featured a black bachelor.