Kelly Ripa thinks that some people are taking a joke she made way too literally.
The “Live With Kelly And Ryan” host poked fun at her son Michael on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Tuesday by saying the 22-year-old, who recently moved to an apartment in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, was living in “extreme poverty.”
“I think he loves the freedom. He hates paying his own rent and he’s chronically poor,” she said of Michael. “I don’t think he ever really experienced extreme poverty like now.”
Ripa went on to explain that Michael is now much more aware of his finances and eagerly awaits his grandparents’ annual $20 Halloween gift. “Now that he’s living on his own, he’s called three times, ‘Halloween envelope arrived?’” she recalled. “Just so he can have electricity. He’s experiencing being an adult.”
Ripa’s remarks sparked backlash online. Most criticized Ripa for being too rich to understand what “extreme poverty” is actually like.
After Ripa published a photo with her son on Instagram earlier this week, a commenter asked about Michael and about Ripa’s comments on “Kimmel.”
“Did Michael drop out of school?” they wrote. “Last night on kimmel you made a reference he used to go to school :) did he ever have a job ? Sure are getting a lot of slack for all the talk about him”
And at that, Ripa responded to the drama, calling it “fake outrage.”
“Michael goes to college and is a senior and works full time,” Ripa wrote. “He is in his first non parent subsidized apt with roommates. I’m used to getting a lot of slack because people love to have fake outrage over something they didn’t see. They only read a headline and wag their tired fingers. I didn’t grow up privileged and neither did [my husband, Mark Consuelos]. We work and we expect our kids to as well. And the fact that a pack of fools want to bitch about that, i say let em.”
Rent in the area of Brooklyn where Michael lives isn’t cheap. According to RENTCafe, the average rent in Bushwick is $3,088, which is less expensive than neighboring Williamsburg, where the average rent is $3,317.
But if Michael would like to wean himself off of his dependency on his grandparents’ $20 Halloween gifts, may we suggest Ditmas Park? The average rent there is just $1,932.