Dance Moms alumnus Maddie Ziegler has apologized for ‘ignorant and racially insensitive’ posts which have recently resurfaced on the web.
The 17-year-old star said she was ‘ashamed’ and ‘sorry’ about her actions in old social media, telling fans: ‘There are a few videos some of you have seen from when I was about nine-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. The decisions I made then are absolutely not decisions I would make today,’ she went on.
‘What I thought was silly humor when I was younger I know was actually ignorant and racially insensitive,’ she went on. ‘We have all made mistakes in our lives and as we grow up we educate ourselves and learn to be better people.’
She recognized that she has extra responsibility to ‘set a good example’ given her high-profile.
‘Growing up in the public eye has its challenges and also comes with the responsibility to set a good example, which I failed to do in these videos,’ she said. ‘I hope you will forgive me and also hope you realize I have, in fact, grown up and would never act this way now.’
She continued, saying she didn’t expect everyone to accept her apology but she urged fans to be kind to one another.
‘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,’ she said.
‘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.’
Many fans praised Ziegler for her apology, telling the star she was too young to know any better.
But while Maddie made an effort to distance herself from the ‘old’ posts, several Twitter users pointed out much more current clips of the young star’s inappropriate behavior.
Tweeters posted videos of what looked like a preteen and teen Maddie mocking several accents, crudely imitating Asian facial features, and calling someone ‘a lesbian’ as an apparent insult.
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In July, Maddie’s younger sister Mackenzie addressed her own controversy after she accused her of using a racial slur online.
‘I am sorry for my actions in the past. I really am. I am sorry if I offended anyone. That was not my intention,’ the 16-year-old shared on social last month. ‘I am NOT racist. I do not stand with racism. I’m sorry if you all misunderstood me. I’m [trying] my best. I love u all so very much and I hope you can understand.’
Maddie rose to fame on Lifetime’s Dance Moms, which she started on when she was only eight.
She continued her ascent when she was cast in several music videos for Sia, including Chandelier and Elastic Heart.