After weeks of apparent pressures from fans to apologize, actress and professional dancer Maddie Ziegler, 17, posted a lengthy statement to social media Tuesday apologizing for her past “racially insensitive” videos that were made when she was nine years old.
“I thought it was funny to mock people and accents,” the post said, in part. “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.”
“What I thought was silly humor when I was younger I know was actually ignorant and racially insensitive,” added Ziegler. “We have all made mistakes in our lives and as we grow up we educate ourselves and learn to be better people.”
According to Elite Daily, the videos in question show Ziegler allegedly “making racist jokes about Asians, including mocking their accents and facial features, when she was 9 years old.”
Ziegler was part of a reality TV series called “Dance Moms” from 2011 to 2016, has had roles in numerous movies, and is best known for her appearances in Sia music videos.
“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,” the statement said. “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. 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.”
“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,” the teenager continued. “I hope you will forgive me and also hope you realize I have in fact grown up and would never act this way now.”
“I know some of you are hurt and may not accept my apology,” Ziegler added. “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.”
As noted by E! News, Ziegler’s younger sister, Mackenzie Ziegler, who is 16, also took to social media to apologize for her past behavior.
“I’m much more educated now than I was before, and I’m so sorry… I’m so sorry that I offended the Black community, I would never treat you like that now,” Mackenzie offered. “And if you guys don’t forgive me, I completely understand.”
Mackenzie also appeared on the reality show “Dance Moms.”
— Maddie Ziegler (@maddieziegler) August 4, 2020
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