But one of Midler’s latest tweets mocking Donald Trump has sparked backlash and accusations of racism. On Wednesday, the Beaches star posted a photo taken from a Trump 2020 rally and pointed out a group of black men in the crowd of supporters.
Midler, apparently surprised to see people of color backing POTUS, wondered aloud if his campaign paid them to be “blackground.”
Look, there are African American men in this shot! How much did he pay them to be “blackground”? pic.twitter.com/pTkoHTIpQl
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) July 24, 2019
The pun fell flat with conservatives, who slammed Midler’s joke as “condescending and racist.”
That’s a very racist thing to say.
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) July 24, 2019
Bette doesn’t think black ppl can think for themselves.
— matt’s idea shop (@MattsIdeaShop) July 24, 2019
Bette Midler, how dare you make a blanket statement that black people can’t think for themselves & that they must be paid off if they don’t agree with you. Your statement is so condescending & racist. “From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
— Glen Woodfin (@GlenWoodfin) July 25, 2019
Imagine, for one moment, that a conservative said this about blacks at a liberal event. It would be rightly called out as the nasty, divisive racism it is. Black liberals: this is what they *really* think about your ability to think for yourselves.
— Rob Smith 🇺🇸 (@robsmithonline) July 25, 2019
So you saying black people ave so little moral fortitude that a flash of money is all it takes to get them to play a stooge. I can’t think or a more racist thing to say that disparages an entire race of people. You’ll say anything won’t you.
— Tina Stull (@tinastullracing) July 24, 2019
That's quite the racist statement if I've ever heard one. 🙄
— Katie Yonke (@JKHomestead) July 24, 2019
Trump supporters of color also took offense to her suggestion that black people would have to be bribed to take up the MAGA cause.
Yes.. These are black people and there are many many more of us that will stand behind and with our president for the payment of being free to have a voice and our own opinion. We aren’t Driving Ms. Daisy ... OR Ms. Midler. Racist!
— June Long (@MrsJuneLong) July 24, 2019
You racist POS
So you are saying Black folks are stupid and desperate.
We cannot have a diversity of thought like white people?
We better get our black a** back in line like you racist white Democrats believe we should be?
I've been to WH 3x & 2 rallies VIP, never got a dime
— Brandon Tatum (@TheOfficerTatum) July 24, 2019
Midler’s joke also raised the ire of actress Kirstie Alley, who has backed Trump in the past. The Cheers and Look Who’s Talking star called the tweet “racist” and “degrading” and accused Midler of demonstrating “pure and real racism.”
This is one of the most racist, degrading "jokes" I've seen on Twitter & that's saying a lot. We get it Bette, you hate Trump & that's your right but to imply Black men have to be PAID to celebrate their OWN political views is pure and REAL racism. And "BLACKGROUND"?? WTF??!! https://t.co/7PXH75tf8i
— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) July 25, 2019
Some commenters have accused Trump supporters of showing faux-outrage. And despite predictions that Midler would swiftly delete the tweet to quash any controversy, it remains online. The star also fired back at one “uptight” critic over the matter.
As many as I feel like! Personally, I enjoy swearing. Why don’t you try it, you uptight.....ha! https://t.co/ipqdOT46xe
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) July 25, 2019
This isn’t the first time Midler has been called out for a tweet about race. Last October, she apologized after sharing a John Lennon and Yoko Ono quote which included a racist slur.
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