Bette Midler is not the most liked celebrity right now, with her stance on some sensitive trending issues. She was the subject of intense backlash on Twitter after posting a dismissive and insensitive take on the current baby formula shortage.
Despite a large number of comments from people criticizing and correcting her, the “Ruthless People” star stuck to her opinions and then posted a backup tweet. The additional tweet only made things worse for her. Read on to find out what she said and people’s reactions.
There Is A Baby Formula Shortage
Quite recently, a shortage of baby formula has hit stores across the US and forced stores to ration sales, which has left parents desperate for solutions. The cause of the shortage is linked to COVID-19 supply chain issues and the recall of formula products by a major producer, Abbott Nutrition.
The company is one of the biggest baby formula manufacturers. According to CNN News, they had to recall their Similac, EleCare, and Alimentum products after they reportedly caused an infection that killed two children.
The shortage has forced stores to ration how many formula products a person can buy and dealt a huge blow to parents who use the baby formula to feed their young children. One mother voiced her frustrations to NPR and said, “It’s an every-week scavenger hunt, almost, without the fun involved.”
Midler Made An Insensitive Tweet
The baby formula shortage has been a topic of discourse on social media like Twitter, and then Midler shared her opinion by tweeting, “TRY BREASTFEEDING! It’s free and available on-demand.”
TRY BREASTFEEEDING! It’s free and available on demand. https://t.co/15xetgg1ps
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) May 13, 2022
She made the tweet in response to a previous tweet by Stephanie Ruhle, who highlighted another dangerous reality about the shortage. She noted that the “baby formula shortage reveals an amazing secret oligopoly” of three companies owning “90%” of the market.
Immediately after Midler posted her tweet, people began to point out the flaws in her logic and how “insensitive” and “ignorant” it was for people who can’t breastfeed, either for medical and biological reasons or same-sex parents.
Fans Heavily Criticized Her Tweet
There were many tweets heavily criticizing Midler. One of them read, “I am exhausted by having to remind people that breastfeeding is not “free,” or “easy.” Not if you’re disabled, or dealing with PPD, or unable to take time off work, or, or. I am exhausted by having to remind people nothing about childbirth/child care is easy or free.”
Bette, respectfully, this is a very bad take. I had twins. I didn’t produce enough milk for both. Without formula, I would have had to have chosen which one got to eat. To say nothing of kids that get separated from the birth mothers very young.
— Ilyse Hogue (@ilyseh) May 13, 2022
Another read, “Bette, respectfully, this is a very bad take. I had twins. I didn’t produce enough milk for both. Without formula, I would have had to have chosen which one got to eat. To say nothing of kids that get separated from the birth mothers very young.”
A third read, “We need to stop shaming women. For having sex. For liking sex. For getting raped. For having babies. For not having babies. For breastfeeding. For not breastfeeding. For using daycare. For not using daycare. Please, can we just let women live? Can we please just let them be?”
Midler Didn’t Back Down
Even after hundreds of comments pointing out reasons why people can’t always breastfeed, Midler refused to back down and insisted that her point was valid. She even made an additional tweet to back up her initial statements.
The Grammy Award winner tweeted, “People are piling on because of former tweet. No shame if you can’t breastfeed, but if you can & are somehow convinced that your own milk isn’t as good as a ‘scientifically researched product,’ that’s something else again. The monopoly news is news to me, tho, no lie.” She then added a “#WETNURSES” hashtag as some sort of solution to the problem.
One reaction to this additional tweet read, “People are piling on because you are working with old information. Women *don’t* believe formula is better than breast milk. They’re *shamed* for using formula, even if it’s their only option. Your tweet re-inforced that women who don’t breastfeed are failures. They’re not.”
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