Nickelodeon star alum JoJo Siwa has addressed the accusations that one of her dancers donned blackface in a recent video.
“I would like to address the music video that we shot for ‘NONSTOP’ in February,” the 17-year-old “Dance Moms” star posted across her social media accounts. “We’re talking about kids dressing up as circus animals! No one in my video is wearing blackface. It’s awful that anyone’s mind would even go there. Kids dressing in animal costumes, having their faces painted to look like animals, acting the part.”
Siwa released the video on June 19, and the accusations picked up enough steam on social media to merit Siwa’s response a week later. The dancer in question, identified as 12-year-old Lilliana Ketchman, is indeed wearing brown makeup on her face as part of what appears to be a monkey costume, but it is, as Siwa says, framed within the larger context of a circus setting.
Siwa apparently had taken to blocking users and deleting comments on Instagram in the intervening week over the vitriol she was facing — which angered some users further — explaining, “People were sending me really horrible and disgusting messages about my appearance, my sexuality, my content, and overall just being hateful.”
“I didn’t do anything that needs an apology,” she wrote on Twitter Friday evening after releasing her statement, “this is me clearing things up.”
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