YouTube [TheEllenShow]

Bette Midler has responded to the backlash she received for posting a controversial tweet claiming that women are being erased.

On 4 July, the 76-year-old wrote: “WOMEN OF THE WORLD! We are being stripped of our rights over our bodies, our lives and even of our name! They don’t call us ‘women’ anymore; they call us ‘birthing people’ or ‘menstruators’, and even ‘people with vaginas’! Don’t let them erase you! Every human on earth owes you!”

Admirers of Midler were quick to express their disappointment in the actress.

“Really disappointed in this as a trans man and a Bette Midler fan,” one person responded.

“Bette, including trans men in the conversation about reproductive health does not harm women. We have the same organs, and even greater vulnerability, as cis woman.”

Another stated: “Bette, this is disappointing to see from you. These are terms we use to include trans men and non-binary people who can get pregnant. It is absurd and dangerous to be lumping attempts at trans inclusivity in with right wing attempts to control our bodies as threats.”

On 6 July, the Parental Guidance star once again took to Twitter to try and clarify what she meant, explaining that her words were inspired by a controversial New York Times op-ed that has been criticised for being transphobic.

“There was no intention of anything exclusionary or transphobic in what I said; it wasn’t about that,” she wrote online.

“It was about the same old shit women – ALL WOMEN – have been putting up with since the cavemen,” Midler added. “Even then, men got top billing. But seriously, folks, if anyone who read that tweet thinks I have anything but love for any marginalized people, go to Wikipedia and type in my name.”

She went on to state that she has “fought for marginalized people” for “as long” as she can remember.

Midler continued: “Still, if you want to dismiss my 60 years of proven love and concern over a tweet that accidentally angered the very people I have always supported and adored, so be it.

“But the truth is, Democracy is slipping through our fingers! I’m all in on trying to save Democracy for ALL PEOPLE. We must unite, because, in case you haven’t been paying attention, divided we will definitely fall.”

Midler’s comments come not long after a sequel to 1993’s Hocus Pocus was announced, which is set to pick up 29 years after the original left off.