In addition to her work on the stage and screen, Bette Midler has emerged as one of the most vocal Trump adversaries on Twitter, prompting the president to recently blast her as a “washed-up psycho.”
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.”
The pun fell flat with conservatives, who slammed Midler’s joke as “condescending and racist.”
Trump supporters of color also took offense to her suggestion that black people would have to be bribed to take up the MAGA cause.
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.”
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.
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.