The wrath of the internet came down on 76-year-old veteran entertainer Bette Midler Thursday, after she posted a tweet about the nationwide baby formula shortage.
Responding to an MSNBC host’s report that a trio of American companies control more than 90 percent of the formula market and restrictive regulations prohibit foreign formulas, Midler said, “TRY BREASTFEEEDING! It’s free and available on demand.”
Midler’s take on the situation was blasted by fans and critics alike, with nearly everyone emphasizing how ignorant her comments made her seem.
“Imagine having a large gay fanbase, many of whom are raising kids in two-dad households, and thinking this is a good suggestion,” said Tim Carvell, executive producer for “Last Week Tonight.”
Another follower chided Midler, writing, “What a callous thing to say to parents who are wondering how they’re going to feed their babies. My first son wouldn’t latch and I was unable to pump enough to keep him fed past 4 months. He didn’t starve thanks to formula. My heart is aching right now thinking of these parents.”
Still another said, “the best time to delete this post was immediately after posting it. the second best time is now.”
Some of Midler’s more forgiving fans speculated that her account had potentially been compromised.
“Seriously, have you been hacked?” one user asked.
In a follow-up to the original post, however, Midler doubled down and suggested that some women choose to feed their babies formula because they believe it is better than breast milk.
“People are piling on because of former tweet,” she wrote. “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. #WETNURSES.”
Complaints from parents grew increasingly desperate this week as they found more empty shelves across the country, with an estimated 43 percent of formula products out of stock as of Sunday nationwide, according to tracking firm Datasembly.
The states most affected by the shortages are Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, according to The Daily Wire.
On Friday, President Joe Biden defended his administration’s response to the ongoing formula shortages, ABC News reported.
“There’s nothing more urgent we’re working on than that right now, and I think we’re going to be making some significant progress very shortly,” Biden said from the White House at an event that had been intended to hype public safety funding — reflecting how the lack of formula has quickly overshadowed other administration priorities.
Supply-chain issues and labor shortages, combined with the shutdown of a major manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan, all contributed to the critical shortage the nation is currently facing.