Bette Midler sparked backlash on Thursday after she tweeted that women are “the n-word of the world.”
“Women, are the n-word of the world,” she wrote in a since-deleted tweet “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.”
According to USA Today, the tweet received more than 14,000 likes and 8,000 comments (mostly critical) before it was deleted. The remark was also slammed for being racially insensitive.
“Black women have let you know that this is offensive. Are they not women too?” one user wrote. “It is not our job as white women to dismiss black women’s experiences and feelings. It’s our job to listen and…do better.”
“It’s just not right to use n word,” another social media user wrote. “It reduces all humanity when used. All over the world women are forced to live lives not of their making through power, war, religion, poverty. And pay with their lives if they seek freedom from tyranny.”
Despite the outrage, the Hocus Pocus actress tried to defend her words, arguing that “Woman Is the N—-r of the World” is the name of a controversial song released by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1972 for their album Some Time in New York City.
“I gather I have offended many by my last tweet,” she wrote in another since-deleted tweet. ‘Women are the…etc’ is a quote from Yoko Ono from 1972, which I never forgot. It rang true then, and it rings true today, whether you like it or not. This is not about race, this is about the status of women; THEIR HISTORY.”
However, she eventually apologized for her tweet, claiming the investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh set her off.
“The too brief investigation of allegations against Kavanaugh infuriated me,” she wrote. “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.”