Twitter responds to Bette Midler’s blasting of Joe Manchin and West Virginia
Bette Midler stirred up ire among West Virginians on Dec. 20 after she blasted West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin over his opposition to a social spending bill.
Midler quickly attempted to backpedal on her bashing, correcting her initial statement ⏤ in which she called West Virginians “poor, illiterate and strung out” ⏤ and apologizing for her “blunder.” This did little to reverse the damage, however, and comments from irate West Virginia residents continue to flood both tweets nearly 24 hours after they were posted by the Hocus Pocus 2 star.
Dozens of West Virginians called Midler out for “personally attacking” the people of their state, as did Americans from across the country. They labelled her as an out-of-touch “elite” who took to Twitter to disparage “an entire state because [she] didn’t get [her] way.”
“Bette, that’s not fair. West Virginia is full of good people who work hard and take care of each other,” one user wrote in response. “Dealing in stereotypes doesn’t help.”
Numerous West Virginians took to the comment section to point out that they, too, were disappointed by Manchin’s actions, and to point out that Midler’s broad claim isn’t helping anyone.
“I’m from WV. I’m not illiterate, poor, or strung out,” one person pointed out. “I’m very upset with Manchin! Many are struggling and they keep voting against their own best interest.”
Midler’s attempt to backpedal did little to calm the ire of West Virginians, many of whom shared their continued anger with her on her apology tweet. Calling her initial tweet “pejorative” and her apology “insincere,” people blasted Midler for her “unacceptable” words. Numerous people also called her second tweet a “non-apology” and shared their own impressions of Manchin.
Midler attempted to cover for her mistake by retweeting several positive responses to her initial tweet, including one that called the people of West Virginia “hard working” and called out politicians for making “coal companies rich on the backs of hard working dying coal miners.”
Apart from her retweets and the initial apology, Midler hasn’t really addressed the backlash her tweet prompted. She is likely well aware that the fallout will pass with time, particularly given her relative distance from the spotlight. Her upcoming role in Hocus Pocus 2 could get in the way of this, however, as it will bring Midler back into the mainstream, an area she has been absent from for several years.