But Bette Midler called Gaga a copycat on Twitter. The beef is about a wheelchair-bound mermaid character that Gaga unveiled at a concert in Sydney last week. It turns out that Midler had performed in an almost identical getup for millions of fans three decades ago, while playing her alter-ego character named Delores DeLago. This weekend Midler fired off a series of critical tweets to the pop star, saying, "I've been doing the mermaid in a wheelchair since 1980. You can keep the meat dress." In case you're wondering, Gaga was "born this way" in 1986. Gaga's 11 million Twitter followers didn't like the cracks at their Mother Monster and said Gaga did the mermaid look better. When asked about the copycat accusations, Lady Gaga told Access Hollywood's Billy Bush, "I had no idea that she did that and I'm a huge Bette Midler fan...Maybe we're just cut from the same cloth. I couldn't hop around in that tail so I just stuck myself in a wheelchair." Midler also toned down her message. She tweeted to Gaga, "Fabulous mermaids can co-exist."
If, hypothetically, Midler had "patented" her wheelchair-bound mermaid "invention" in 1980, the patent would have run out in 1997, and everyone on this planet, including Lady Gaga, could use the invention free and clear.
One notes that Lady Gaga sounded like a typical snagged infringer: "I had no idea that she did that."