Let’s be frank: the movie and TV industry has not been nearly diligent enough in cutting ties with creators who say and do racist things. But with Black Lives Matter protests taking over the nation, companies are scrambling to prove their dedication to a new, anti-racist future, where racist comments are met with consequences. To that end, Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller has been dropped from the network, effective immediately. Her planned spinoff, Abby’s Virtual Dance-Off, has been canceled, and she will no longer be involved in any upcoming seasons of Dance Moms.
Deadline reported on Lifetime severing ties with Miller after a week of illuminating confessions from past Dance Moms contestants and their experiences with the dance instructor. Adriana Smith spoke out on Instagram, recalling the one comment of Miller’s that always stuck with her most: “I know you grew up in the HOOD with only a box of 8 crayons, but I grew up in the Country Club with a box of 64 – don’t be stupid.” Miller later told Smith’s 7-year-old daughter that she was there because they needed a “sprinkle of color.”
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Former Dance Moms star Camille Bridges came forward too, sharing how Miller had singled out her Black daughter and other ways she conveyed her clear prejudice.
“[Abby] tried to spin Camryn as being the poor one and there on scholarship,” Bridges told E! News. “I shut that down immediately. She loves appropriating our culture and never appreciating it. She did not give black choreographers on the show acknowledgment of their work. She continuously put Camryn in afros.”
Miller has since issued an Instagram apology, but failed to tag or personally reach out to any of the people she hurt with her racist words and actions. Lifetime choosing to drop their affiliation with a star sends a strong message, albeit one I wish we’d heard sooner. If your presence causes harm to the Black people forced to be in your environment, then you will no longer be hired by this industry. Let’s spread that message far and wide.
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