After facing backlash for past “racially insensitive” behavior, Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler is issuing a public apology. In a statement shared on social media, she shared she was “honestly ashamed” of the way she acted and asked fans not to defend her.
“There are a few videos some of you have seen from when I was about 9 years old where I thought it was funny to mock people and accents. I’m honestly ashamed, and I’m truly sorry for my actions,” Maddie, 17, wrote. “The decisions I made then are absolutely not decisions I would make today. What I thought was silly humor when I was younger I know was actually ignorant and racially insensitive. We have all made mistakes in our lives and, as we grow up, we educate ourselves and learn to be better people.”
She continued, “I know some of you are hurt and may not accept my apology, but I want to ask all of you to please be kind to each other on socials. There is no need to attack each other or try to defend me. I don’t want anyone to feel bullied and think we can all learn from my mistakes and spread love during these times when we need it most.”
The Lifetime star’s apology seemingly addressed several resurfaced videos. In one, Maddie could be seen speaking with a stereotypical Asian accent and pretending to sell fried rice as a friend pulled back the skin on the side of her eyes. In another, she appeared to use the n-word while singing along to Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.” Additional clips included allegedly homophobic and transphobic remarks.
Twitter users first started calling for an apology for the videos in July. “I love you, Maddie, but you need to apologize for the racist videos,” one fan told the star directly. This isn’t right!!! [It] is not hard, just say sorry [to] your Asian followers.” Another wrote, “I’ve loved you [so much] for years, but it’s [kind of] disgusting seeing you ignoring this. Why have [you posted] about [Black Lives Matter] if [you] can’t apologize [about your] racist videos? Yeah, this is so embarrassing.”
It sounds like Maddie started listening — though some think her apology didn’t go far enough. In response to her post on Twitter, commenters asked her to address her use of the n-word, her offensive comments about the LGBTQIA community and the more recent videos from her teenage years. Others still were glad to see her addressing the subject at all.
“Thank you for apologizing and recognizing the problem with it!” one fan wrote. “I’m glad to know that you grew up to be a better person and to do better!”