The Real Reason Abby Lee Miller's New Show Was Canceled

As Black Lives Matter protests continue to sweep the nation, Hollywood must also reckon with its own hidden racism — and for Lifetime, that means cutting ties with Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller. The dance instructor and choreographer might be known for her harsh on-screen critiques, but former stars of the reality TV program recently revealed that Miller's racist remarks behind the scenes are the reason they left the show. In response to the uproar, Lifetime has chosen to cancel Miller's upcoming new show Abby's Virtual Dance Off, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Miller's pandemic-inspired spinoff, which would've featured home videos of viewers' best dance moves from across the country, was supposed to air its 12-episode season over the summer. Lifetime indicated that Miller won't be returning to Dance Moms, either, if it's renewed for a ninth season (per Us Weekly).

Miller's alleged racist behavior came under fire after she posted a Blackout Tuesday square on Instagram in support of protestors fighting to end racism and police brutality. Former Dance Moms contestant Adriana Smith, mother of competitor Kamryn, quickly responded with her own Instagram post, in which she revealed that her daughter had only been cast to add "a sprinkle of color." "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. But Miller's comments apparently didn't stop there.

Adriana says Abby's racism affected her daughter

As cast members on Dance Moms' eighth season, Adriana Smith and daughter Kamryn agreed to do the show because "I thought with cancer and jail time maybe [Abby Miller] had changed just a little bit," Smith wrote on Instagram. But, as Smith explained, she was completely wrong.

"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,'" Smith wrote. "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!"

Smith noted that such treatment was nothing new to her because, as a black woman, she faces racism every day. However, she would not stand by and allow "this racist person have any part of my daughter's life." She added, "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." While Kamryn understood "it's not right here" and expressed her desire to "go home," Miller's behavior robbed her of the opportunity to shine.

Another mom says Abby saw her daughter as 'the poor one'

After Adriana Smith spoke out about Abby Lee Miller's racist remarks, another parent, Camille Bridges, reached out to E! News about her and daughter Camryn's experiences on Dance Moms. "[Abby] tried to spin Camryn as being the poor one and there on scholarship. I shut that down immediately," Camille claimed. "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."

Camille added that, while she was "relieved" when Miller left for her stint in prison, she quickly pulled her daughter from the show once Miller returned. "She is incredibly two-faced," Camille added. "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."

Dance Moms producer Kori Kingg also reacted to Smith's post. "In hindsight, I too should have left," she wrote (via E! News). "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." Each woman's account reinforces the fact that nobody should be treated as inferior because of their race.

Abby promised to 'learn, grow, and do better'

Once mothers Adriana Smith and Camille Bridges revealed dance instructor Abby Lee Miller's history of racist remarks, the Dance Moms choreographer took to Twitter to issue a public apology.

"I genuinely understand and deeply regret how my words have effected and hurt those around me in the past, particularly those in the Black community," Miller wrote. "To Kamryn, Adriana, and anyone else I've hurt, I am truly sorry. I realize that racism can come not just 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 have done, I promise to educate myself, learn, grow, and do better," Miller added. "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."

Smith, however, told Entertainment Weekly she did "not accept Abby's apology because her apology was not sincere. At this point, this is bigger than me and Kamryn. It's about the potential effect that she has on the future of dance and negative, stereotypical influences on young, aspiring dancers of color. I firmly believe that if Abby was truly sorry, she would have apologized a year ago when she exposed my then 7-year-old daughter to her first account of racism." 

Hopefully, Miller's experience serves as a lesson for her and anyone else watching.