Abby Lee Miller Apologizes After Former Dance Moms Star Said the Choreographer Is 'Racist'
"I genuinely understand and deeply regret how my words have affected and hurt those around me in the past, particularly those in the Black community," the reality star wrote on Instagram
Abby Lee Miller is taking responsibility for racially insensitive remarks she had made in the past.
On Thursday, two days after former Dance Moms star Adriana Smith accused Miller of being a "racist," the dance coach took to social media to address the claims and apologize for her actions.
"I genuinely understand and deeply regret how my words have effected [sic] and hurt those around me in the past, particularly those in the Black community," Miller, 53, wrote in an Instagram post. "To Kamryn, Adriana, and anyone else I've hurt, I am truly sorry. I realize that racism can not just come from hate, but also from ignorance. No matter the cause, it is harmful, and it is my fault. While I cannot change the past or remove the harm I've done, I promise to educate myself, learn, grow, and do better. While I hope to one day earn your forgiveness, I recognize that words alone are not enough. I understand it takes time and genuine change."
Earlier this week, Smith — whose daughter Kamryn performed in an episode of season 8 in hopes of joining the team — opened up about her experience on the dance competition and the racially insensitive remarks that were made by Miller.
"I recently posted on my FB that racism is not something we can disagree on and still be friends, which in turn is why we are not friends," Smith wrote on Instagram. "A statement from her that sticks in my mind to this day during my time on DMS8 is, ‘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.' This my friends is not something or a statement that can be googled. Ask yourself what does that mean? This to me shows that you think you are better than me and in higher rank and all together superior to ME!"
She continued: "Do you remember you told me, ‘Do you want me to tell you why you are really here?' LOL as if I didn't know … again showing your superiority. Let me remind you what you said in case you forgot. You told me to ‘LOOK in the MIRROR! That's the only reason you are here!' Kam told me she heard ‘they need a sprinkle of color!'"
As for her decision to leave the show, Smith says in her Instagram post that she made the choice during her last on-camera interview after a producer asked how Miller's remarks made her feel.
"As tears streamed down my face, I look over at my 7-year-old and back at the camera and say, this is my EVERYDAY life as a black woman. This is nothing new to me. But what I'm not going to have happen is have this racist person have any part of my daughter's life as of this moment. At that moment, I knew that it was more important for me to show my daughter that she had to stand up for what's right and not care about anything else. But in that interview, my little 7 year old cried like a GROWN black woman and stood up and said, ‘Mom I understand it's not right here and I want to go home too….'"
In a private Facebook post shared with E! News, former Dance Moms producer Kori Kingg reacted to Smith's post.
"Some would say I should be quiet about this. But THIS THIS!?! THIS broke me as I was working on show and pregnant with my own black daughter. In hindsight, I too should have left. I should have stood with my sister, Adriana Janae Smith and supported gorgeous baby Kam and left too," she reportedly wrote. "Seeing a 7-year-old little black girl be put in a box in a corner and treated so violently because of the color of her skin was heartbreaking. It reminded me of when I ‘found out I was black' at an age not much older than her."
Another Dance Moms mom is also speaking out about her experience with Miller.
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"[Abby] tried to spin Camryn as being the poor one and there on scholarship," Camille Bridges — whose daughter Camryn Bridges appeared in a couple of episodes of the seventh season — 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."
"We were so relieved when she was gone especially when we thought she wasn't coming back," Bridges reportedly said. "When she returned, I looked at Camryn and told her we're leaving. I didn't care anymore about the ‘platform.' I was done. The woman is a mess. She is incredibly two-faced. She would say the most terrible things on camera, then tell Camryn how she was better than the girls on the team, mainly the ones she trained. It was a traumatic experience that I wish on no one."