Ellen Pompeo Defends Kelly Ripa Against 'Bachelor' Boss: "We Don't Attack Successful Women on Our Network"

Earlier this week, Kelly Ripa shared her unfiltered thoughts about ABC's The Bachelor and The Bachelorette — and did so while discussing the long-running reality series on her daytime talk show, Live With Kelly and Ryan, which is syndicated by Disney ABC Home Entertainment and TV Distribution.

"You guys, you know how I feel about the show — it disgusts me," Ripa said on Tuesday. "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."

It wasn't long before the dating franchise's host, Chris Harrison, and creator, Mike Fleiss, took to social media to shoot back with responses. "Look out #BachelorNation @KellyRipa is coming after you and your 'disgusting' Monday night habit," Harrison tweeted, while Fleiss wrote: "Easy, @KellyRipa … #TheBachelor franchise pays your salary!"

It was Fleiss' comment in particular that caused Grey's Anatomy star and ABC fixture Ellen Pompeo to enter the fray and defend Ripa. "Okay @fleissmeister, that’s some handle bro! Your show does NOT pay Kelly Ripa’s salary," Pompeo tweeted on Thursday. "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."

The actress ended her message with this pointed hashtag, seemingly calling out what she sees as a lack of diversity among the contestants featured on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette: "#bachelorsoooowhite."

Pompeo then tweeted to a follower that she felt it was necessary to break out of a previously announced social media hiatus. "Took a break but had to jump back in the ring for my girl," she wrote of showing her support for Ripa.

Pompeo's tweet came on the same day Hannah Brown — the lead of The Bachelorette's season 15, which premiered on ABC Monday night — made an appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan, where she and Ripa discussed their differing feelings about the show.  

"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," Ripa said. "But now, you are in the power position. So take me through that. How does that work?"

Replied Brown, "Like you, I didn’t really follow the show. I wasn’t a big fan. 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. When you have a group of 30 people together, there’s going to be people who don’t like each other. That’s just simple facts … 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." (Brown later spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about her empowering experience. Read that Q&A here.)