The news hasn't ended since Miley Cyrus's controversial performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. Now add this on top: Her backup dancer Hollis Jane, a little person outfitted in one of the teddy bear costumes, spoke out on her blog last week about her experiences sharing the stage with Cyrus that night. Jane called her participation in the performance "one of the most degrading things I felt like I could ever do."
Even after the humiliation she experienced at the VMAs, she still auditioned for Cyrus's tour because she had bills to pay. She was offered the job, but later turned it down, saying, "I wondered if it was worth feeling less than human again. And frankly, it wasn’t."
Yahoo Music left a message with Cyrus's camp recently inquiring about Jane's statement. They are yet to respond.
Jane has been conducting an on-going "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit since week, where she shed some more light on the behind-the-scenes happenings from Cyrus's VMAs performance. Jane also revealed that the rest of the little people in Cyrus's show gave her heat for her comments:
- Cyrus was aloof while Robin Thicke was very nice and introduced himself to everyone.
- Most of the raunchy moves Cyrus made on stage were choreographed.
- Thicke was totally on board with Cyrus's approach and even suggested some moves.
- Thicke's wife and son were at the rehearsal.
- Cyrus's mom was at every rehearsal as well.
- Only once did onlookers during the rehearsals have a "whoa" moment. Otherwise everyone was stoked.
- Cyrus's tongue-out moments were part of the choreography.
- Someone in "management" said, "Lady Gaga is going to get out there and be too artsy. Let's get out there and show the audience how to have fun!"
- Jane did not personally see anyone smoking Cyrus's beloved green while there.
The confession started when Jane, who is an aspiring actress in Los Angeles, left a comment on a Facebook discussion thread that had folks from the little people ("LP") community involved. Jane later elaborated on her own blog about her struggles getting acting work because of her size. She felt during the performance she was "being stared and laughed at for all of the wrong reasons. I was being looked at as a prop…as something less than human." The first dress rehearsal for Cyrus's performance left Jane in tears.
For my reddit AMA! Go check it out pic.twitter.com/ubRrLSUWDT— Hollis Jane (@hollis_jane) October 10, 2013
She wrote, "For the first time I felt truly ashamed of being a little person. We were being used simply because we were little. It felt like society still saw us as a joke, despite the fact there is literally nothing different about me other than the fact I am small." Until Jane got to rehearsals, she was left in the dark as far as what kind of role she was taking in the performance.
Cyrus's VMAs performance was heavily influenced by her obsession with the outrageous live variety show "Beacher's Madhouse," which combines burlesque dancers, fire-breathers, people in animal costumes, a host of imitators, dancers and performers who are little people, and "The Tallest Burlesque Dancer in the World," Amazon Ashley, who was recruited for Cyrus's live shows. Cyrus has been a frequent attendee of Beacher's since 2011, throwing her 19th birthday there. Hollis stated in her AMA that Beacher's was just as degrading, given that the show included a "Midget Bar" and little people dressed as Oompa-Loompas who "fly through the air" for bottle service.