Bette Midler isn’t exactly one to conceal her political beliefs, but this time, her outspokenness came back to bite her: The actress came under fire yesterday (December 20th) for referring to the entire state of West Virginia as “poor, illiterate, and strung out” in a rant aimed at somewhat infamous Senator Joe Manchin.

As a recap, Manchin — a Democrat — recently announced that he wouldn’t support President Biden’s Build Back Better bill, which includes plans to establish some desperately-needed efforts to combat the climate crisis (an issue close to Midler’s heart).

Manchin’s opposition basically means the bill is now impossible to pass, and Midler took to Twitter to air her frustrations. “What #JoeManchin, who represents a population smaller than Brooklyn, has done to the rest of America, who wants to move forward, not backward, like his state, is horrible,” she wrote. “He sold us out. He wants us all to be just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out.”


While Midler’s anger is certainly valid, her generalization of West Virginia as a state obviously caused some equally furious backlash. Less than 40 minutes later, she issued an apology, although she doubled down on her disgust of Manchin, who has an unfortunate pattern of dismissing climate change efforts.

“I apologize to the good people of WVA for my last outburst,” Midler added. “I’m just seeing red; #JoeManchin and his whole family are a criminal enterprise. Is he really the best WV has to offer its own citizens? Surely there’s someone there who has the state’s interests at heart, not his own!”

It’s pretty clear that Manchin, who also serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, doesn’t have West Virginia’s best interests at heart. As The New York Times points out, he’s received more campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry than any other senator. He’s the founder of a coal brokerage firm called Enersystems Inc., in which he currently owns millions of dollars in stock. See Midler’s impassioned tweets lashing out at Manchin below.


These tweets are just one example of Midler resorting to some ill-advised methods to convey her well-intended attitudes. Last September, she suggested that women fight against Texas’ recent anti-abortion bill by refusing to have sex with men. Outside of politics, she’s set to reunite with Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy for Disney’s long-awaited forthcoming sequel to their Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus.