'Bachelorette' Hannah Brown on Defending the Show to Kelly Ripa as Ellen Pompeo Joins Feud (Exclusive)

Brown tells ET that she and Ripa are 'agreeing to disagree' after coming face-to-face on Thursday.

Hannah Brown didn't exactly turn Kelly Ripa into a Bachelor fan during her appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan on Thursday. 

The Bachelorette appeared on Ripa's talk show just two days after the host had called out the Bachelor franchise for being "creepy" and "disgusting." While they didn't go to war on Thursday's Live, Brown told ET shortly after her appearance that she and Ripa still aren't on the same page. 

"I think Kelly and I just agree to disagree," she said during our New York City interview. "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."

"I think I struggled -- everybody saw me struggle, and wanting to be a certain way that I'm just not. And 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," she added, referencing Ripa's comment about the cast "fighting" over one man. "We're not all fighting. We're encouraging each other. Of course, we want to -- you're looking out for yourself." 

Ripa's comments alerted Bachelor Nation on Tuesday, and hours later, Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss and host Chris Harrison jumped in to defend the show. 

"Look out #BachelorNation ⁦@KellyRipa⁩ is coming after you and your 'disgusting' Monday night habit," Harrison tweeted on Tuesday night, while Fleiss simply claimed that The Bachelor's success was helping ABC pay Ripa's salary. 

Ripa doubled down on her statements while speaking with Brown on Live, but appeared somewhat receptive to her interpretation of the process. 

"I am very against women fighting over a guy. I don't believe in it. I don't -- I think it's, you know, weird and sets us back. But then, now you're in the power position, right? So, take me through that. How does that work?" Ripa asked. 

"When you have a group of 30 people together, there's gonna be people who don't like each other. It's simple, just facts. But ultimately, it was one of the most empowering I ever have done, because I had to push myself and grow as an individual, and I did, and I think that's why I decided that I wanted to be the Bachelorette and wanted that so bad for myself," Brown explained. 

On Thursday morning, Ellen Pompeo entered the feud with a pointed comment at Fleiss. 

"Okay @fleissmeister... that’s some handle bro! Your show does NOT pay @KellyRipa salary," she wrote. "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."

"NOT AT ALL!!!" Pompeo added in response to a fan asking if The Bachelor was the "representation we want." "You're so right....but it's still true so I had to call it out."

In its 23 seasons, The Bachelor has had one Hispanic lead, Juan Pablo Galavis, in 2014. The Bachelorette cast its first black lead, Rachel Lindsay, in 2017. The show's attempt to feature more diversity had been a topic of conversation in recent years both by fans and ABC. 

Roughly a third of Brown's 30 contestants on this season of The Bachelorette are not white. 

The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Join ET's Bachelor Nation Facebook group here


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