Bette Midler labelled a 'creep' for shaming teens on phones in museum

Photo: Bette Midler / Instagram
Photo: Bette Midler / Instagram 

Bette Midler is usually quite the darling of the Hollywood set with her affable humour and catalogue of hit movies beloved by people the whole world over.

She's found herself in a bit of hot water with her 1.8 million Twitter followers, however, over a tweet of a photo of three teenagers seated on a bench in a museum, all looking at their phones.

The caption reads, "What's wrong with this picture?"

Midler, 74, appears to be suggesting that the teens should be attentive to the artworks surrounding them in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, rather than focussed on their screens.

The backlash was swift and fierce, with the current "OK Boomer" meme being pulled out left right and centre.

These people responded directly to Bette's own question.

"The fact that you took it and then posted it online. Why aren't YOU enjoying the art instead of criticising other people for not doing it? They could be taking a break to make lunch plans. They went to an actual museum, that's more than a lot of people do."

"There's a creep in the museum photographing teenage girls to post online without their knowledge or consent"


"The three girls and guy are minding their own business but the photographer clearly isn't?"

Seeing as museums use apps and other technology to enhance the experience of their exhibitions, these teens could be reading about the artworks they've just seen.

"As a teacher who brings kids on field trips, it looks like kids doing their assigned work on a field trip," writes one commenter.

"Most museums have apps that coincide with their collections. They let you learn more about the pieces than you might get from just browsing mindlessly. Stop shaming kids for being kids," says another.


A post shared by Bette Midler (@bettemidler) on

There are several people who claim the photo is an old one and taken out of context, so why exactly is Bette posting someone else's picture just to shame young people?

Midler is no stranger to controversy on Twitter. In August 2016 she misgendered Caitlyn Jenner, as well as addressing her by her former name.

'Now that @IAmCait has been cancelled will she go back to being Bruce? Will Kris take him back? Do I smell a rewedding?' the Oscar-nominated star wrote at the time.

And then there are the funny responses to the museum post.

"Is there an "ok boomer" contest that Bette Midler is trying to win that I don't know about?"

"Someone give Bette a quick crash course on the rule of thirds. And then one on how old people mocking young people is the stalest take of all time."

A "museum professional" piped up with her two cents worth.

"Museums do not care what you're doing in them. Seriously. Do not care. If you're not damaging the artifacts or disturbing other visitors, it does not matter."

She then lists they types of museum goers as explorers, facilitators, hobbyists/professionals, and finally, rechargers, "...who seek out the quiet, the calm, of a museum and restore themselves just sitting surrounded by art. Often they're the ones settled in a nook with a book."

And here's the clincher... "They are viewed by museum professionals as EQUAL to all other categories."

So there you have it.