Rosie O'Donnell Chides Kelly Ripa For 'Homophobic' Remark

O'Donnell criticizes Ripa for her reaction when Clay Aiken covered her mouth

Photo: PseudoImage/Shooting Star; Jennifer Mitchell/Splash News

Rosie O’Donnell chided talk show host Kelly Ripa on The View Tuesday, calling her comment last week about Clay Aiken – who guest hosted Friday’s Live with Regis and Kelly – “homophobic” and “a little odd.”

During an interview with Dancing with the Stars winners Cheryl Burke and Emmitt Smith on Friday’s Live, Aiken put his hand over Ripa’s mouth so he could interject a question. “Oh, that’s a no-no,” Ripa said, adding, “I don’t know where that hand’s been, honey!”

On Tuesday’s View, O’Donnell told her co-hosts, “To me that’s a homophobic remark. If that was a straight man, if that was a cute man, if that was a guy that she didn’t question his sexuality, she would have said a different thing.”

(Aiken does not discuss his sexual orientation, and told PEOPLE in September, “People are going to believe what they want.”)

Ripa was quickly patched in by phone to address O’Donnell’s accusations.

“He reached across and covered my mouth with his hand,” Ripa said. “I have three kids (and) he’s shaking hands with everybody in the audience. It’s cold and flu season. That’s what I meant, and to imply that it’s homophobic is outrageous, Rosie. And you know better. You should be more responsible.”

O’Donnell emphasized that “from where I sit” as a gay woman, the remark seemed homophobic. Ripa insisted, “I respect all people, regardless.”

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