Lady Gaga angered handicapped advocacy groups by performing in a mermaid suit in a wheelchair at a recent concert in Sydney.
But it wasn't Gaga who first conceived of a wheelchair-bound fish-woman.
In 2007, Bette Midler performed New York, New York in a mermaid constume, bound to a wheelchair in Las Vegas. Years before Lady Gaga.
At least Midler's was electric, but maybe that's the secret behind Gaga's killer biceps.
Midler was the first to notice the strikingly familiar routine.
On July 16, Midler tweeted: 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.....
A slightly angrier-sounding Midler tweeted again, the next day: Dear @ladygaga if you think a mermaid in a wheelchair seems familiar-it's because it is! You can see it on youtube 24/7-with ME performing it
And again later the same day: Dear @ladygaga Ive been doing singing mermaid in a wheelchair since 1980-You can keep the meat dress and the firecracker t*ts -- mermaid's mine
Without any response from Mother Monster's Twitter feed, Bette Midler continued the conversation, somehow more conciliatory:
@ladygaga, let's drink this over at the Emmys in September. Fabulous mermaids can coexist!
Here are the two performances, Gaga's in 2011, Midler's in 2007. You decide.
2011 LADY GAGA
2007 BETTE MIDLER