HomeEntertainmentBette Midler Causes Outrage Over Calling West Virginians ‘Poor, Illiterate, and Strung Out’

Bette Midler Causes Outrage Over Calling West Virginians ‘Poor, Illiterate, and Strung Out’

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Mark Sagliocco/WireImage via Getty Images)

Bette Midler started her career in 1965 on the stages of small New York Theaters. Over the years, she worked her way up to Broadway stardom. Then, she crossed over into the film world. After a handful of uncredited roles, she started landing roles in bigger films like Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Ruthless People, and Beaches. More recently, The Divine Miss M has taken to Twitter to share her opinions on a wide range of topics.

Recently, Bette Midler sparked outrage by insulting the entire population of The Mountain State. She called West Virginians “poor, illiterate, and strung out.” Those comments came after Joe Manchin, WV’s Democratic Senator voted against President Biden’s Build Back Better Bill.

Bette Midler started her tweet by ranting about Joe Manchin. She claimed that the senator who represents “a population smaller than Brooklyn” sold out the American people. She added that his decision to vote against the bill “like his state, is horrible.”  Then, she turned her ire on the people of The Mountain State. “He wants us all to be just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate, and strung out.”

This tweet did not go well for Bette Midler. Many West Virginia residents took to her mentions to set her straight. It’s interesting to note that several of those who took offense to her comments about the state agreed with her opinion on Manchin’s decision. They weren’t upset by her political opinion. Instead, they felt insulted by her broad generalizations about the citizens of The Mountain State.

West Virginians Fire Back at Bette Midler

One West Virginian took to Bette Midler’s mentions in defense of her state and its people. “WV is a beautiful state with loyal hard-working people who want desperately to make a 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,” she wrote.

Another Twitter user suggested that Bette Midler direct her comments to the senator instead of insulting the state. Several others pointed out that Manchin was one of 51 senators who voted no on the bill.

Another Twitter user was upset but not surprised by Midler’s comments. He said that they were the kind of stereotypes he expected to hear from “an affluent Hollywood elite.”

To her credit, Bette Midler did apologize. In her apology tweet, she claimed that she was “seeing red” after Manchin’s decision. She went on to call his family a “criminal enterprise” and wondered if he was the best that West Virginia had to offer its people.