Celebrity and entertainer Bette Midler was obliterated on social media after offering an astoundingly ignorant solution to the baby formula crisis.
Families across the nation are panicked over a shortage of baby formula that has mothers driving large distances in hopes of finding dwindling supplies of formula.
Rather than offer sympathy to moms who are struggling to feed their babies, Midler responded with a “solution” in all-caps that infuriated many.
“TRY BREASTFEEEDING! It’s free and available on demand,” she responded simply.
— bettemidler (@bettemidler)
Many on social media excoriated Midler’s tweet but some simply offered their heartbreaking stories undermining her point.
“I love you Bette, but this is not okay. 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,” read one response with more than 3k likes.
“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,” read another with more than 8k likes.
“For the love of God, delete this tweet. Many women cannot breastfeed their babies for a number of health-related reasons. Public shaming is the last thing they need,” read another reply.
“There are women who cannot produce enough milk to feed their babies. There are same sex couples who need formula because they do not produce milk. There are adoptive parents who cannot produce milk on demand. I’m happy to educate you. You’re welcome,” said another critic.
Midler responded to the rancor later, but it wasn’t much better than the original tweet.
“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. The monopoly news is news to me, tho, no lie,” she tweeted.
In February, the FDA recalled formula products from a Michigan facility run by Abbott Nutrition, the producer of the vast majority of baby formula. Abbott said it would take months before supplies return to normal after reopening the facility.
Critics have pointed out that tariffs and other government regulations have prevented the free market from rushing to fill the shortage from other sources.
Here’s more about the baby formula shortage:
Baby formula shortage turning into crisis for millions