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Bette Midler ripped after 'nasty' take on baby formula shortage

Wonderwall logo Wonderwall 14/05/2022 Mark Gray

Bette Midler set off a firestorm on Twitter after offering a "very bad take" on America's baby formula shortage.

Bette Midler, 2019 © Gregory Pace/Shutterstock Bette Midler, 2019

Bette's backlash began on Thursday, May 12, after NBC reporter Stephanie Ruhle posted a message about the ongoing formula problem. 

"The baby formula shortage reveals an amazing secret oligopoly: – 3 American companies control over 90% of the mkt – hugely restrictive regulations (thanks to big $ lobbying) prohibit foreign formulas."

She added, "Name another industry/sector/product like this."

The "From A Distance" singer saw the message and figured she'd chime in with her two cents. 

"TRY BREASTFEEEDING!  It's free and available on demand," Bette replied. 

The tweet, which trended on Friday, was criticized almost immediately, as many women said they tried breastfeeding but were unable for a multitude of legitimate reasons. 

"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," one woman replied. 

"I love you Bette, but this is not okay," another said. "I fought to breastfeed my son, he kept losing weight, despite my best efforts, including lactation experts.  It was emotional and  I felt like a failure and at 3 months switched to formula, because of the stress it put on me and my son."

Twitter users called Bette's comments "nasty," "stupid" and "uninformed." A few people even wondered if Bette's account had been hacked.

In the wake of the backlash, which came from all sides, the singer attempted to somewhat clarify her comments. 

"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," Bette tweeted. "The monopoly news is news to me, tho, no lie." She added the hashtag "wet nurses."

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