Miley Cyrus Called Out For Exploiting Little People
October 14th, 2013 11:44pm EDT
Nearly two months after her MTV Video Music Awards performance, Miley Cyrus is at the center of a new controversy over her racy rendition of hit single "We Can't Stop".
Hollis Jane, a little person who danced on stage with Miley while dressed in a bear costume, has spoken out about her experience, calling it "degrading" and dehumanizing.
"I was a bear in Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance and it was my first time doing anything like that... anything where I was being used because of my height, not because of my talent," Jane wrote on her personal blog. "And I will be the first one to tell you that standing on that stage, in that costume was one of the most degrading things I felt like I could ever do.
"I realize not everyone shares my opinion and I might just be young and naive, but I feel like the acceptance of this kind of treatment has got to stop... I had never been in a performance where I was purely meant to be gawked or laughed at. I will never forget that performance because it is what forced me to draw my personal line in the sand."
Jane says that she left the dress rehearsal at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, "shaking and crying".
"Thankfully, my best friends, Kelly and Kerri, happened to be (in) NYC to visit me," she explains. "They were waiting for me and I walked up to them and broke down. I love being the center of attention, but that was something different. I was being stared and laughed at for all of the wrong reasons. I was being looked at as a prop... as something less than human."
An aspiring actress, Jane says that she's gone through life experiences in the past that "weren't fun", but they "never made me feel less than human."
"When I did the VMAs, I did feel like that. For the first time I felt truly ashamed of being a little person. We were being used simply because we were little. It felt like society still saw us as a joke, despite the fact there is literally nothing different about me other than the fact I am small."
Hollis spoke with ET Online on Monday, telling Brooke Anderson, "I'm not necessarily upset with Miley. It was just a personal reaction to an experience I had."
"I would like to be taken seriously as an actress, rather than, 'Oh, here's a little person,'" she added. "You just want people to not judge you based on something you can't control."
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Photo Credits: Marco Sagliocco / PRPhotos.com; Hollis Jane via Tiwtter