Last week, singer and actress Bette Midler found herself embroiled in controversy after she belittle residents of West Virginia while trying to criticize the state’s Democrat Sentaor, Joe Manchin, and his opposition to Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act.
“I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation,” said Manchin during a December 19th interview with Fox News. “The inflation that I was concerned about is not transitory. It’s real, [and] it’s harming every West Virginian.”
Midler expressed her discontent with Manchin’s stance on the Build Back Better agenda the next day, taking to Twitter to condemn Manchin and, in the process, paint West Virginians as “poor, illiterate and strung out”.
“What #JoeManchin, who represents a population smaller than Brooklyn, has done to the rest of America, who wants to move forward, not backward, like his state, is horrible,” wrote Midler. “He sold us out. He wants us all to be just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out.”
In the wake of her tweet, a sizeable number of Twitter users took offence at Midler’s outrageous claim about West Virginians – including some of the woke actress’ like-minded followers – and were quick to call out her insulting rhetoric.
“Two things, Bette,” wrote Former USAF combat pilot and United States Congress candidate Buzz Patterson. “Read the Constitution, it explains how this all works [and] don’t plan a trip to West Virginia, the people there are far too decent for your ilk.”
@lboz84 pushed back, “I’m mad at Manchin too, but saying what you said about West Virginians is really gross.”
“My entire family is from West Virginia, I have incredibly fond memories as a child there,” The user continued. “My grandfather and great grandparents are buried there. It’s a beautiful state. This is upsetting.”
“I would suggest that you remember there are real people at the other end of this tweet, and that shaming an entire state for things largely out of their control isn’t a great look,” asserted user @CateIsilesAway.
@j_piercy, who prefaced her response with the fact that she is from West Virginia, declared, “I am not illiterate or strung out. College graduate. Please choose words carefully as you seem to assuming something about people you know nothing about.”
“Bette, that’s not fair,” wrote another user, @JaneDon32229154, who took offence at Midler’s comments. “West Virginia is full of good people who work hard and take care of each other. Dealing in stereotypes doesn’t help.”
Following this massive wave of backlash, not an hour after posting her initial tweet, Midler issued an apology to the people she offended and attempted to justify her uneducated accusations regarding Manchin’s decision.
“I apologize to the good people of WVA for my last outburst,” said Midler.”I’m just seeing red; #JoeManchin and his whole family are a criminal enterprise. Is he really the best WV has to offer its own citizens?”
She went on, “Surely there’s someone there who has the state’s interests at heart, not his own!”
Republican West Virginia Governor Jim Justice also criticised Bette Midler’s attack on West Virginians, stating that the actress’ comments were “intolerable” and praising Sen. Manchin for stepping up and representing the will of the state’s people.
“Brian, there’s no call for it,” Justice told Fox News Primetime host Brian Kilmeade. “In all honesty, it’s not tolerated — just period. From the standpoint of what Sen. Manchin did, he stepped up and echoed the people of West Virginia.”
“The people of West Virginia are hard-working people. The people of West Virginia know what this country is founded around. It’s not founded around socialism,” the Governor continued. “Joe Manchin, we are very proud of his vote and everything to stop this terrible, terrible carnage that’s happening from Washington.”
He added, “But nevertheless, we hope Joe stands tall. And from the standpoint of Bette Midler, all I would say is shame on her. I mean really and truly. [West Virginia has seen] one thing right after another, whether it be leading in tourism, diversification, on and on and on. For Bette Midler to say that — it is just plain not tolerable.”
In the wake of Midler’s insults and resulting apology, former President Donald Trump issued a statement revealing that he intends to share “the real facts” about the actress in his upcoming book.
“Wacko Bette Midler said horrible things about the great people of West Virginia and [Sen.] Joe Manchin, but when I say much less offensive things about her, everybody goes wild,” wrote the 45th President of the United States in a Wednesday. “Don’t worry, I’ll tell the real facts about her in my book. I love you, West Virginia!”
What do you make of Trump’s response to Midler’s condescending attacks against the people of West Virginia? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!