Out of line. Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss spoke out of turn when he claimed that the ABC reality series is responsible for Kelly Ripa’s paycheck, a source close to Live With Kelly and Ryan tells Us Weekly.
“These ‘clapbacks’ have people at ABC laughing,” the insider says of Fleiss and host Chris Harrison’s retorts to Ripa’s criticism of the franchise. “Live With Kelly and Ryan is one of the most lucrative shows on TV. Claiming that The Bachelor pays for Kelly’s salary is amusing, to say the least. If anything, her success in syndication and promotion of these shows pays their salaries.”
The source adds that “the fear of rejection must run deep” for the men. “These guys can’t handle a little lighthearted criticism from a successful woman who has been on TV longer than their contestants have been alive,” the insider notes. “These guys’ rose ceremonies are all thorns.”
As for Fleiss, 55, the source claims that his Bachelorette bio would list one of his dislikes as “sober women over 20 giving opinions.”
Ripa, 48, stirred the Bachelor Nation pot when she bashed the show during the Tuesday, May 14, episode of Live With Kelly and Ryan. “You guys, you know how I feel about the show, it disgusts me,” she told the audience. “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.”
Harrison, 47, and Fleiss attempted to fire back at the talk show host. “Easy, @KellyRipa … #TheBachelor franchise pays your salary!” the producer wrote via Twitter on Tuesday.
The Bachelor host, meanwhile, tweeted: “Look out #BachelorNation @KellyRipa is coming after you and your ‘disgusting’ Monday night habit.”
Ripa doubled down on her stance when Bachelorette Hannah Brown stopped by the ABC talk show on Thursday, May 16. “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,” she explained. “But now, you are in the power position.”
The 24-year old reality star clarified that the series is “not women fighting against each other,” noting: “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.”
With reporting by Brody Brown
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!