Bette Midler apologized Saturday for a tweet that a caused social media backlash when she compared the struggle of women to the history of racism.
The singer-actress wrote that women “are the n-word of the world” and “They are the most disrespected creatures on earth.” Midler was quoting the title of a 1972 song written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
The original tweet read, “Women are the n-word of the world, raped, beaten, enslaved married off, worked like dumb animals; denied education and inheritance; enduring the pain and danger of childbirth and life IN SILENCE for THOUSANDS of years They are the most disrespected creatures on earth.”
The comment drew sharp criticism from many who said it erased the atrocities committed against black people and the struggles of black women in particular.
The tweet was deleted after three hours along with a subsequent post in which she tried to explain the use of the n-word.
“I gather I have offended many by my last tweet. ‘Women are the…etc.’ is a quote from Yoko Ono from 1972, which I never forgot,” she wrote. “It rang true then, and it rings true today, whether you like it or not. This is not about race, this is about the status of women; THEIR HISTORY,” she wrote in the since deleted tweet.
She then expressed remorse, saying that she was angered by the brevity of the FBI investigation into claims of sexual assault against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Midler expressed her regret to black women: “I am an ally and stand with you; always have. And I apologize.”
The too brief investigation of allegations against Kavanaugh infuriated me. 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. I am an ally and stand with you; always have. And I apologize.
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) October 5, 2018
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.