This season, the Bachelorette drama isn't just going down in the mansion, but also inside ABC itself. Three of the network's biggest faces — Ellen Pompeo, Kelly Ripa, and Mike Fleiss — are currently feuding on Twitter following Hannah Brown's season 15 premiere. It all began when Ripa called the franchise "disgusting" on Tuesday’s episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, which is owned by ABC.
"You know how I feel, ladies," she continued. "We are too special to be arguing over a guy."
This did not sit well with Fleiss, who created The Bachelor.
"Easy, @KellyRipa... #TheBachelor franchise pays your salary!" he tweeted, suggesting Ripa had not earned her own success.
While Ripa still hasn't directly responded to the jab, Ellen Pompeo, star of ABC's Grey's Anatomy, stepped in to defend the host — and leverage her own criticism against the show.
"Okay @fleissmeister... that’s some handle bro! Your show does NOT pay @KellyRipa salary," the tweet begins. "Also we don’t attack successful women on our network and men certainly cannot take credit for their success."
Pompeo is pretty much the authority on this subject as one of the most successful women on the network and one of the highest-paid actresses of 2018, earning $23.5 million for her role as Meredith Grey.
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— Ellen Pompeo (@EllenPompeo) May 16, 2019
She ended her response with a call-out of The Bachelor franchise's less-than-diverse casting (Rachel Lindsay was the first Black Bachelorette in 2017, and The Bachelor has never had a Black Bachelor).
"Don’t get me started on your show cuz I’m a savage.... #bachelorsoooowhite," she quipped.
To make things more awkward, Bachelorette Brown appeared on Ripa's talk show on Thursday, during which the host joked, "Hannah, I’m not sure what they told you backstage…if you blink twice, I will get you out of here." Brown, for one, handled the on-air situation with a laugh, according to People, and later told Access that Ripa is "entitled to have her opinion."
"I'm the one that's been in this process and this journey and had the ups and downs and if I can say that it empowered me, then I believe that it empowers a lot of people on the show," she said.
ABC declined to comment.