More and more celebrities are being taken to task about offensive content they posted online in the past, and Maddie and Kenzie Ziegler are the latest. Over the past week, old videos of the sisters making racist jokes have been circulating on Twitter, and fans called for them to apologize. Now, Maddie and Kenzie Ziegler's apologies for their old offensive videos acknowledge their past mistakes, and promise to stand against racism moving forward.
The videos of Maddie circulating on Twitter depict her making racist jokes about Asians, including mocking their accents and facial features, when she was 9 years old. Maddie, now 17, acknowledges her past behavior was unacceptable. On Aug. 4, the former Dance Moms star took to Twitter to issue a lengthy apology, promising she's grown as a person since she made those jokes.
“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,” she began. “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.”
Maddie acknowledged being a high-profile celebrity means she needs to do better. “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 explained. "I hope you will forgive me and also hope you realize I have in fact grown up and would never act this way now.”
Maddie concluded by acknowledging her apology may not be enough for some people, but she's OK with that. “I know some of you are hurt and may not accept my apology," she said. "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.”
You can see the apology post in full below.
Meanwhile, her younger sister Kenzie issued an apology of her own after fans discovered an old video in which she made racist jokes about Black people on an application form when she was around 10 years old. On Aug. 3, the younger Ziegler sister broke down in tears during an Instagram livestream, saying she's sorry and she's grown to understand the true weight of the words she used back then. She followed her livestream up with an additional text post, taking full responsibility for her actions.
Maddie and Kenzie's apologies are an important step in acknowledging past racist behavior and being better role models and anti-racism allies for their fans moving forward.