Lady Gaga and Bette Midler's mermaid-wheelchair beef: Over before it began?

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Image Credit: Newspix/Rex/Rex USA

Lady Gaga has had some well-documented ups and downs since the release of Born This Way, and for every victory (one million sold!) there seems to be a half dozen slights (Rihanna is now more popular than Gaga on Facebook).

Gaga’s latest opponent? None other than Bette Midler, who saw her Ladyship take the stage in Australia in a wheelchair while dressed like a mermaid and thought it looked awfully familiar.

It turns out Midler crafted just such a character way back in the ’80s, and she named her Delores DeLago (who sounds less like a handicapped fish-woman and more like a broadly drawn John Leguizamo character, but we’ll let that slide for now).

To drive her point home, Midler took to Twitter to let Ms. Gaga know that she felt slighted:“I’m not sure @ladygaga knows that I’ve performed my mermaid in a wheelchair for millions of people — and many of them are still alive,” she wrote. Not satisfied with just the one message, she followed up with two more, including, “Dear @ladygaga I’ve been doing singing mermaid in a wheelchair since 1980-You can keep the meat dress and the firecracker tits, mermaid’s mine.”

Though Gaga did not respond to Midler’s tweets directly, she had a change of heart and resolved the whole beef before the battle (which EW was ready to call “Fingate”) could ever really get started. “Let’s drink this over at the Emmys in September,” Midler tweeted to Gaga. “Fabulous mermaids can coexist!”

Now that the two divas have mended their barely-damaged fence, let’s get into another mermaid-related war: We hear that Hipster Ariel has been saying some nasty things about Daryl Hannah (something about snarfblatts).

And hey, just for the heck of it, here’s Bette Midler on Seinfeld. You’re welcome.

Read more from EW.com:
Lady Gaga upsets activists with wheelchair prop, gets egged Down Under
Lady Gaga’s YouTube page suspended: Who’s to blame?
Lady Gaga, Coldplay, and Nicki Minaj helm star-studded lineup for Ryan Seacrest-hosted iHeartRadio Music Festival

Comments (27 total) Add your comment
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  • Yo

    GaGa copycats again …. This is getting old.

    • I lied to you the minute i said i do

      where is grace jones calling lady gaga out for stealing her style i wonder. and this fight was lame

      • AcaseofGeo

        Hey Kyle Anderson, your article “suggests” Bette Midler cribbed from John Leguizamo. Uhm, exactly HOW could she have done that when her act came waaaayyyy before his did. If you’re going to try to throw hip trendy (and JL is hardly a trendy OR hip ref) references in there, they should be accurate and not bass-akwards.

  • Ethan

    Bette Midler should just assume Lady Gaga thought of the same stupid stage trick independently, because man, that’s a dumb thing to claim you did first.

    • Blah

      THIS. My thoughts exactly.

      • xx100

        This is one of Midlers well known stage acts and is funny as hell. Gaga is very unoriginal again.

    • KT

      Thought of it independently/ Midler’s mermaid act has been famous for over thirty years. No way did Gaga not know about it. (Sort of like the melody to Express Yourself.)

  • mike

    Gaga is as original as a fart

  • C

    Okay… REALLY?

    How else is someone dressed as a mermaid supposed to get around a stage? Oh, hey, a chair with wheels… let’s use that!

    God, let it go people.

  • SDTim

    Sorry, Bette has been doing this for decades — it’s hilarious and was quite original in its day. It’s cool if Gaga does it, but she needs to give credit where credit is due!

    • bebepc

      Obviously some of you aren’t familiar with Bette Midler. GaGa copied her outright and should have done it as an homage and not an original idea.

  • maince

    lady gaga is great bett mider suck

  • pwgu

    psssh these outrageous things have all been done before and madonna and bette midler aren’t the first to do anything
    idk why people get so pissed at gaga because madonna and bette were always accused of being copycats in their careers

    gaga is smart to not have responded bette looks like an idiot for trying to pick a fight

  • Aman Adem

    i know that bette doesnt want her “fans” arguing for her cause bette knows she doesnt wanna waste time accusing gaga of copying her, same way with gaga.

    • Jay

      Are you on close personal terms with them? Is that how you have all of this inside info?

  • Ben

    When is Gaga ever going to do something original? I’m seriously thinking never.

  • David Graffham

    She thought of it herself, she never mentioned Midler as one of her inspirations, she never knew about it. The mermaid idea is generic, and if you have a mermaid tail how else do you transport? If anything the idea isn’t original, anyone could have the same idea, like me accusing the world or copying me when i eat breakfast!!

    • Bill

      How else would a mermaid get around? In a cart, being carried by beefcake, rolled around in a wheeled bathtub, in an aquarium, on a gurney, in a giant seashell, in a boat…lots and lots of ways besides a wheelchair. There’s no way Gaga grew up in NYC and didn’t know Bette Midler’s act.

  • Bill

    Next up, Gaga talks about her childhood as a half-breed and recalls dancing for the men who used to come around and lay their money down.

  • C Nault

    Why is Midler upset? She “stole” the mermaid in a wheelchair idea from the 1948 mermaid movie “Miranda”.

  • Alex

    I would much rather see Lady Gaga dressed as a mermaid than Bette Midler. Shes not hot. And nobody cares about her anymore

    • BetteFan

      I agree know way did gaga not know Bette’s act if she is truly a fan like she states.

  • James

    Miranda did mermaid in a wheelchair in 1948. Bette Midler did it in 1980s. Who’s the real copycat?

  • Jeff

    Bette is outdated and tired. Gaga is now in, and Bette has been out for years. Get over it.

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