Hannah Brown Admits She and Kelly Ripa Will Always ‘Agree to Disagree’ on ‘Bachelorette’ Criticism

Not going to argue. Hannah Brown initially stood up for herself after Kelly Ripa said the Bachelor franchise is “gross” and “disgusts” her, but now the star of The Bachelorette season 15 is throwing in the towel.

“I think Kelly and I just agree to disagree,” Brown, 24, told Entertainment Tonight on Thursday, May 16. “I don’t think anybody can really get it until you’re there. And I also, at first, was very skeptical of the show, but I’m here now and I wouldn’t be the Bachelorette if I didn’t believe in the process and how it has made me so empowered to be myself.”

Hannah B. on Kelly Ripa's 'Bachelorette' Criticism
Hannah Brown and Kelly Ripa. Paula Lobo/Walt Diswney Television/Getty Images; Mike Coppola/Getty Images

As for how the reality dating series strengthened her character? The former Miss Alabama noted, “I think this whole show empowered me to be who I am and be a strong, empowered woman along the way. And instead of fighting, I made friends, and I hope she picked up on that.”

Earlier on Thursday, Brown appeared on Live With Kelly and Ryan and rebutted the All My Children alum’s previous claim that The Bachelorette focuses on “25 exceptional women fighting over one ordinary fella.” The former interior designer explained, “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.”

Ripa made headlines on Tuesday, May 14, when she told cohost Ryan Seacrest that the ABC reality series “disgusts” her because women “are too special to be arguing over a guy.” Her words sparked backlash from several prominent figures in the Bachelor Nation community, including Arie Luyendyk Jr., Colton Underwood and Chris Harrison.

However, Ripa’s fellow ABC star Ellen Pompeo stood up for the Hope & Faith alum after Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss tweeted, “Easy, @KellyRipa … #TheBachelor franchise pays your salary.”

Pompeo, 49, who has starred on the network’s hit series Grey’s Anatomy since 2005, fired back via Twitter on Thursday: “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.”

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

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