By any metric, Bathhouse Betty took it too far this time.
Bette Midler incurred the wrath of the internet and beyond with a tweet that can be called, at best, insensitive and woefully misjudged.
Last night, in light of admittedly infuriating current headlines, the 72-year-old LGBT icon posted a since-deleted tweet saying:
“Women, are the n-word of the world. Raped, beaten, enslaved, married off, worked like dumb animals; denied education and inheritance; enduring the pain and danger of childbirth and life IN SILENCE for THOUSANDS of years They are the most disrespected creatures on earth.”
In fairness, the cringe-inducing phrase comes from a 1972 song by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Still, Midler didn’t do herself any favors so much as dig a deeper grave in her first attempt to explain/excuse herself, tweeting:
"I gather I have offended many by my last tweet. 'Women are the…etc' is a quote from Yoko Ono from 1972, which I never forgot. It rang true then, and it rings true today, whether you like it or not. This is not about race, this is about the status of women; THEIR HISTORY."
That tweet got deleted too, replaced with this:
Across the board, responses have been varying degrees of damning and outraged.
“What in the unholy hell?” tweeted professor Nina Turner. “This right here is unacceptable and unbelievable. Black-folks were chattel for 250 years on this soil. Innate humanity denied generation after generation. In 2019, it will be 400 yrs since the first 20 Africans were forced here. Don’t ever!”
“No. A million times no,” tweeted Julia Peacock, a Democratic candidate for California’s U.S. House seat. Good lord, when will we stop pretending we don’t have privilege? My skin is white; doors open for me that WILL NEVER OPEN for WOC. Stop, stop, stop. Never. This. Comparison. Ever.”
Some are demanding that Midler donate to a charity benefiting women of color as an amends.
In a career spanning almost fifty years, Midler has won three Grammys, four Golden Globes, three Emmys, and two Tonys. She has sold over 30 million records worldwide.
Will this negatively impact your annual Hocus Pocus viewing? Let us know what you make of this in the comments below.
h/t: The Advocate