Two parents from Dance Moms are sharing their experiences of working with Abby Lee Miller.
As protests surrounding the death of George Floyd continue around the world, season 8 mom Adriana Smith took to Instagram where she claimed the Lifetime reality star made controversial remarks towards her daughter Kamryn Smith.
"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. 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.'" Adriana claimed on her public social media account. "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!"
The Dance Moms alumna 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!'"
During her last interview with a producer, Adriana claims she was asked how the comments made her feel. It was then when she decided to leave the show.
"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," she recalled on Instagram. "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….'"
E! News has reached out to Abby for any comment on Adriana's claims and has not heard back. The mother-daughter duo appeared in one episode of season 8 where Kamryn performed a solo and group dance in hopes of being added as a mini to the team.
In a Facebook post shared with E! News, former Dance Moms producer Kori Kingg reacted to Adriana's allegations.
"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 hind sight, I too should have left. I should have stood with my sister, Adriana Janae Smith and supported gorgeous baby Kam and left too," she 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 parent from a previous season has also come forward and is sharing her experience on Dance Moms with Abby.
In an e-mail to E! News, Camille Bridges recalled moments where she felt Camryn Bridges was being treated unfairly because of her race.
"[Abby] tried to spin Camryn as being the poor one and there on scholarship. I shut that down immediately," Camille alleged. "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."
While Camille says she "cannot remember everything," she knows for certain that "the environment was extremely hostile with her there."
"We were so relieved when she was gone especially when we thought she wasn't coming back," Camille shared when recalling Abby's stint in prison after she pleaded guilty to the charge of concealing bankruptcy assets and to one count of not reporting an international monetary transaction. "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."
E! News has also reached out to Abby for a response to Camille's claims and has not heard back. Earlier this week, she participated in #BlackOutTuesday on Instagram but later deleted her post.
—Reporting by Taylor Bryant