Bette Midler Receives Backlash For Calling West Virginia ‘Poor, Illiterate, And Strung Out’

Bette Midler is among several celebrities outspoken about her political beliefs. This trend saw her speak candidly about Senator Joe Manchin (D). But her statements against Manchin were not limited to the senator himself, but also included his state, West Virginia.

Midler, 76, took to Twitter to denounce Manchin for not going along with the Build Back Better Act, which addresses the cost of living, among other financial topics for the country. When her denouncement of Manchin also involved generalizing all of West Virginia as “poor, illiterate, and strung out,” the Internet slammed her statement in turn.

Bette Midler goes after a senator and West Virginia

What #JoeManchin, who represents population smaller than Brooklyn, has done to the rest of America, who wants to move forward, not backward, like his state, is horrible,” Midler posted on Monday morning. “He wants us all to be just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out.”

One response did not denounce Midler specifically but wanted to clarify a point / Twitter

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Responses were swift. One of the top replies reads, “WV is a beautiful state with loyal hard working people who want desperately to make good living for their families! Politicians have used WV workers for years to make coal companies rich on the backs of hard working dying coal miners.”

Discontent replies to Bette Midler’s statements about West Virginia / Twitter

I am from WV. I am not illiterate or strung out,” another reply reads. “College graduate. Please choose words carefully as you seem to assuming something about people you know nothing about.” Another reply advised, “I would suggest that you remember there are real people at the other end of this tweet, and that shaming an entire state for things largely out of their control isn’t a great look.”

Bette Midler apologizes to the people of West Virginia

Her initial tweet went live at 10:41. At 10:55, she retweeted the response that denounced politicians benefitting from “dying coal miners.” Then, by 11:19, she made a new post issuing an apology for her earlier tweet, which remains up by time of writing. “I apologize to the good people of WVA for my last outburst,” she wrote. “I’m just seeing red; #JoeManchin and his whole family are a criminal enterprise. Is he really the best WV has to offer its own citizens? Surely there’s someone there who has the state’s interests at heart, not his own!

Some replies to Midler’s apology / Twitter

Some replies agreed with Midler or accepted her apology. One response from a user named Rick reads, “Hello from WV. We’re used to this kind of thing but you should know That a lot of people here have been working like hell to get BBB across the finish line.” In response to this, another user wrote, “Thanks for all your doing, Rick. I love Miss Bette but her tweet was over the top. Glad she apologized. A good law school buddy is a country lawyer in WV, has been organizing for BBB since summer. I know it’s rough but we’re all cheering you folks on! Stay up, brother.”

Some users seem to feel the apology was more harmful than heartfelt / Twitter

Others, however, focused on Midler’s statements about West Virginia. “Too late,” wrote one user. “‘When people show you who they are, believe them‘.” Another post reads, “You apologize, but you don’t take down words that are hurtful and damaging to people who are good, hardworking, and honest. If you were sorry you’d delete the tweet, and then you’d take a trip to WV to see how amazing the state and it’s people are. I’ll kindly host.”

What do you think about her statement and her apology? Have you been to West Virginia?

One user feels Midler should remove her first tweet about West Virginia and learn about the state firsthand / Twitter

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