Actress and singer Bette Midler sparked social media backlash Thursday night after posting a racially insensitive tweet about feminism, in which she said “women are the n-word of the world,” and the “most disrespected creatures on earth.”
The actress was apparently quoting the title of the 1972 song written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, which she referred to in a since-deleted post.
Social media was quick to call out Midler, who is white, and remind the actress of American history.
“Fact: Many white women-owned/abused slaves right along with their husbands. Ever seen a lynching picture? Guess what you don't see: White women crying. Respect American History,” one Twitter user said.
Midler defended her statement in a second tweet.
“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,” Midler tweeted, according to a screenshot captured by the Post. “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.”
Midler’s clarification only added fuel to an already heated conversation.
“I see you have decided to double-down on this insensitive, ridiculous madness … Your privilege is showing!” Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner tweeted.
Midler took one last jab at trying to prove her point by linking to a New Yorker report about how the FBI investigation ignored testimonies from former classmates of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh – who is accused of sexual misconduct by several women – and tweeting “See what I mean?”
The “Hocus Pocus” actress eventually deleted the tweets and apologized for her choice of words that she said were “angrily” spurred on by the “the too brief investigation of allegations against Kavanaugh.”
“Angrily I tweeted w/o [without] thinking my choice of words would be enraging to black women who doubly suffer, both by being women and by being black,” Midler said. “I am an ally and stand with you; always have. And I apologize.”