Bachelor Nation is one big family full of show alums who support each other. However, that mentality doesn't exactly extend to every personality on the ABC network. Kelly Ripa criticized the Bachelor franchise during the May 14 episode of Live With Kelly & Ryan. More recently, Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon clapped back at Ripa in a June 2 interview with Us Weekly. After all, they wouldn't be engaged if they didn't meet through the Bachelor franchise.
What got the future Mr. and Mrs. Haibon so riled up? Let's revisit Ripa's original comments. During a conversation on her own show, the host said, "You guys, you know how I feel about the show [The Bachelorette], it disgusts me," according to Entertainment Tonight. Ripa explained,
"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."
She even asked audience members to clap if they watch The Bachelor. After most of them applauded, she remarked, "Having said that... All of you women watch that gross, gross show."
Ashley confessed to Us Weekly, "I personally find it kind of offensive." And her man felt the same way. Jared told the magazine,
"Listen, first of all, she’s very much entitled to her opinion, but she said that she didn’t like The Bachelor because she hated the idea of 25 extraordinary woman going after one ordinary man. I wouldn’t say that a lot of the bachelors are ordinary. That’s besides the point, my question would be, I want to know her views about The Bachelorette."
Well, during her show, Ripa actually shared those views. In the same episode previously mentioned, she reflected on the Bachelor's first season back in 2002 and admitted, "I was like, 'How come they don't have a woman with men fighting over her? How come they don't do that show?"
However, she was not pleased with The Bachelorette either. She told co-host Ryan Seacrest, "I found that show just as creepy but in a completely different way." She even added, "I was like, 'Ew, eww, ewww.'"
Ashley also defended three of her friends who have been Bachelor leads in her interview:
"I would say that while there are a lot of wonderful women on the show, there are also a lot of wonderful men on the show, my fiancé included, and a lot of my friends who have been leads in the past. Nick [Viall], Ben [Higgins], Colton [Underwood], you know, it’s very wrong for her to [say that]."
Ashley shared similar sentiments during the May 20 episode of the Ben & Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast. She said, "I think it's kind of reverse sexism. Here she is saying that all 25 women on this show during the Bachelor season are 'extraordinary.' She doesn't really know them, but they're all exceptional, right? And then the guy that they're going after is 'ordinary.' Why is she assuming that he's ordinary?"
Ashley continued, "I'm taking offense from all of my friends who have been the Bachelor. They are not 'ordinary' men. I would never refer to them as that. They are truly 'extraordinary.'"
She even clarified, "I'm not saying anything less of the women because all of these Bachelorettes are fantastic. They're so strong. They have the best personalities. They're beautiful. They're smart. They're wonderful women. That doesn't mean that the men, a good handful of them, aren't spectacular, my fiancé included in this."
To be fair, Ashley doesn't even care if Ripa is not a fan of the show's structure. She just doesn't think it's right to knock all the men who participate. She said, "I'm fine if she was like, 'I don't like the structure of 25 or 30 people going after one person. That's a little weird to me. That makes me feel awkward.' But, you can't just group these people together and call them 'extraordinary' or 'ordinary.'"
Maybe Ripa and Ashley should appear on each other's shows, talk this out, and even watch the show together. That might help ease the tension.