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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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
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
CHEERS -- Pictured: (l-r) Ted Danson as Sam Malone, Kirstie Alley as Rebecca Howe (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHEERS -- Season 7 -- Pictured: Kirstie Alley as Rebecca Howe -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank
Kirstie Alley (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
WESTWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 4: Actress Kirstie Alley attends the 'Shoot to Kill' Westwood Premiere on February 4, 1988 at the Mann Westwood Theatre in Westwood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Kirstie Alley (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
American actress Kirstie Alley with her husband, actor Parker Stevenson, circa 1990. (Photo by Kypros/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON -- Pictured: (l-r) Actors John Travolta and Kirstie Alley during an interview with host Johnny Carson on December 13, 1990 -- (Photo by: Alice S. Hall/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Kirstie Alley (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
VAN NUYS, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Actress Kirstie Alley attends the Narconon's 12th Annual Celebrity Softball Game on September 28, 1991 at the Tom Bradley Stadium @ Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
CHEERS -- 'One for the Road' Episode 25 -- Air Date 05/20/1993 -- Pictured: Kirstie Alley as Rebecca Howe (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode -- Pictured: (l-r) Actress Kirstie Alley during an interview with and host Jay Leno on April 21, 1995 (Photo by Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Kirstie Alley at the Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
285399 01: Actress Kirstie Alley makes a public appearance October 26, 1996 in New York City. Before starring in the NBC sitcom 'Veronica's Closet,' Alley played Rebecca Howe on the sitcom 'Cheers' for which she was awarded an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a People's Choice Award. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Liaison)
Kirstie Alley in a scene from the film 'For Richer Or Poorer', 1997. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)
CENTURY CITY, CA - DECEMBER 5: Actress Kirstie Alley and actor James Wilder attend the 'Deconstructing Harry' Century City Premiere on December 5, 1997 at the Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 1283 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actress Kirstie Alley during an interview with host Jay Leno on December 12, 1997 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 10: Actress Kirstie Alley attends Ted Danson's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Ceremony on November 10, 1999 at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
1999-2000 Kirstie Alley In 'Veronica's Closet.' (Photo By Getty Images)
Kirstie Alley at the Morton's in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Kirstie Alley of 'Fat Actress' during Showtime TCA Press Tour Party - Red Carpet at Universal Studios in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 23: Actress Kirstie Alley attends Showtime's Premiere of 'Fat Actress' at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome on February 23, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 23: (US TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) (L-R) Actress Kelly Preston and actress Kirstie Alley attend the after party for Showtime's Premiere of 'Fat Actress' at the Geisha House on February 23, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - MAY 04: Actress Kirstie Alley arrives at the Paramount Pictures fan screening of 'Mission: Impossible III' held at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on May 4, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Kirstie Alley, presenter (Photo by Maury Phillips/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Meredith Vieira and Kirstie Alley appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09: Kirstie Alley and Kelly Preston arrive at Kirstie Alley's Organic Liaison Store Grand Opening on March 9, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/WireImage)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 1201' - A star-studded cast filled with celebrities across a variety of genres are set to compete each week on the dance floor. Performing either the Foxtrot or the Cha Cha Cha, all 11 couples danced for the first time on live national television in the spectacular two-hour season premiere of 'Dancing with the Stars,' MONDAY, MARCH 21 (8:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Adam Larkey/ABC via Getty Images)KIRSTIE ALLEY, MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 28: Actress Kirstie Alley attends Cheryl Burke and Chris Jericho's book signing at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on March 28, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Beck Starr/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 02: Kirstie Alley arrives at Cheryl Burke's 27th birthday celebration at BoHo Restaurant on May 2, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 1207' - 'Dancing with the Stars' celebrated 'Ballroom Greats' week, MONDAY, MAY 2 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET/PT), on the ABC Television Network. Serving as guest judge, alongside Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno, was Donnie Burns MBE, the most decorated Latin dancer of all time and head of the World Dance Council. Each couple, who danced a style they had yet to perform, received a 'master class' from one of ballroom's best, either former Latin World Champion Shirley Ballas or Luca Baricchi, former Ballroom World Champ. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images)KIRSTIE ALLEY, MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY
Actress Kirstie Alley (R) and Maksim Chmerkovskiy arrive to the 'Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' World Premiere at Disneyland on May 7, 2011 in Anaheim, United States. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Kirstie Alley arrives at the 2011 All The Right Moves Summer Invitational at the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom on June 5, 2011 in New York City.
THE VIEW - (6.20.11) Actress Kirstie Alley was guest co-host today, Tuesday, June 21, 2011 on 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images)WHOOPI GOLDBERG, KIRSTIE ALLEY
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Actress Kirstie Alley walks the runway at the Zang Toi Spring 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Studio at Lincoln Center on September 13, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4154 -- Pictured: Actress Kirstie Alley during an interview on November 28, 2011 -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Actress Kirstie Alley attends the 'Kirstie' series premiere party at Harlow on December 3, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer and Kirstie Alley appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 05: Kirstie Alley attends the 'Girls' season four premiere at American Museum of Natural History on January 5, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 06: Actress Kirstie Alley visits the SiriusXM Studios on January 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)