Bette Midler Criticized For ‘Try Breast-Feeding’ Comment Amid National Baby Formula Shortage

Bette Midler Criticized For ‘Try Breastfeeding’ Comment Amid National Baby Formula Shortage
Bette Midler Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

In hot water. Bette Midler is facing controversy after a seemingly innocent motherhood suggestion prompted backlash amid the national formula shortage.

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“TRY BREAST-FEEDING,” the Hocus Pocus star, 76, tweeted on Thursday, May 12. “It’s free and available on demand.”

Midler responded to MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle’s message earlier that day in which she broke down the trending news story.

“The baby formula shortage reveals an amazing secret oligopoly: 3 American companies control over 90% of the [market], hugely restrictive regulations (thanks to big $ lobbying) prohibit foreign formulas,” Ruhle, 46, wrote via the social media platform. “Name another industry/sector/product like this.”

Many new parents have found it increasingly difficult to find baby formula at retailers across the country, according to a CBS News report earlier this month, explaining that many bestselling products had been out of stock since April. Attempting to ration what little supply they had, stores began limiting the amount of product a consumer could purchase at a time.

Celebs Fight Back on Social Media

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While many parents have been searching for a way to feed their little ones, the Beaches actress attempted to offer a suggestion that many Twitter users disagreed with.

Not everyone is able to breast-feed for lots of reasons. And even for those who can, it’s not easy or free,” one social media user wrote on Thursday.

Another added: “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.”

After Midler — who shares daughter Sophie Von Haselberg, 35, with husband Martin Von Haselberg — was hit with criticism over her perceived lack of knowledge, she doubled down on her opinion.

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“People are piling on because of former tweet. No shame if you can’t breast-feed, 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 Broadway legend tweeted several hours later. “The monopoly news is news to me, tho, no lie. #WETNURSES.”

Midler previously came under fire after sharing a racially insensitive message on the social media site in October 2018, referring to women as the “N-word of the world” and the “most disrespected creatures on Earth.” (The tweet has since been deleted.)

“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,” the Hocus Pocus 2 star issued a public apology at the time, noting she was upset by Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing in light of the “Me Too” movement and wanted to share her thoughts about the sexual assault allegations against him. “I am an ally and stand with you; always have. And I apologize.”

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