Beyond her music and Broadway performances, Bette Midler has made a name for herself on Twitter for speaking out on politics and heckling Donald Trump and his presidency. But even fans who love Middler’s showbiz talent and agree with her politically think she went too far with her latest dig at Melania Trump.
On Wednesday, the 72-year-old actress and singer posted a photo from an infamous 2000 British GQ cover shoot of Melania, who was then known as Melania Knauss and was Trump’s new girlfriend. One of the photos of the first lady showed her in an airplane cockpit, modeling a skimpy, futuristic dress that displays her mostly exposed breasts.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) November 14, 2018
Middler captioned this photo of @FLOTUS: “The dry cleaning bill for upholstery on Air Force One must be insane,” accompanied by the hashtag “#FLOTITS.”
Commenters called her quip “crass,” “jealous,” “bitter,” and “desperate,” according to Yahoo.com.
Such criticism didn’t appear to just come from supporters of Trump and of the first family. It also came from those who said they are Midler fans. These fans expressed disappointment that she had spit out something so “mean-spirited” or that an avowed champion of women’s rights would disparage another woman for her body or her looks.
“You’re considered by some an Icon a advocate for women….this is so disgusting! what happened to all women should lift each other up? What did this women (sic) ever do to you? You should be ashamed of yourself so disappointing.”
Some said Midler should reserve her criticism for the president himself.
But another fan said that Melania Trump is fair game for criticism — but only deserves it for her “dangerous” actions as first lady, which could include her perceived insensitivity to the child-separation crisis with her controversial “I really don’t care do u?” jacket or her recent public clash with deputy national security advisor Mira Ricardel, who was reassigned a short time later.
“I love you and loathe that whole family but no. Just no,” the fan wrote. “Pick apart her dangerous actions, not her body/use thereof.”
If Midler was bothered by such criticism, she didn’t show it, and was back at it on Twitter Thursday and Friday, blasting Trump for his attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and issuing a pointed question to White House senior advisors Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump over their reported closeness to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has faced international scrutiny over his prosecution of the war in Yemen and his alleged role in the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Midler has faced serious backlash at least once for a tweet that fans thought crossed a line, Deadline reported. Last month, Midler posted a tweet that was supposed to be pro-feminist, but was called racially insensitive because she wrote that “women are the N-word of the world” and “the most disrespected creatures on earth.”
According to Deadline, the since-deleted Oct. 4 tweet was a paraphrase of the title of a 1972 song written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
The tweet read: “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.”
Midler subsequently apologized for her tweet, saying she was lashing out over the handling of the confirmation process for Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Deadline reported.
Midler wrote, “The too brief investigation of allegations against Kavanaugh infuriated me. Angrily I tweeted w/o thinking my choice of words would be enraging to black women who doubly suffer, both by being women and by being black. I am an ally and stand with you; always have. And I apologize.”
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