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Lifetime cancels plans to air Abby Lee Miller reality show after racism accusations

The "Dance Moms" star was accused of making racist comments to a former student and her mother.
/ Source: TODAY

Lifetime has canceled a new reality series starring "Dance Moms" choreographer Abby Lee Miller after Miller was accused of making racist comments to a former student and her mother.

A spokesperson for Lifetime told TODAY on Friday that "we currently do not have plans" to air "Abby’s Virtual Dance Off," a 12-episode series that was expected to premiere this summer. The news comes just days after Adriana Smith, mother of season eight "Dance Moms" star Kamryn Smith, accused Miller of making racist remarks that prompted her to pull her daughter off the series — a claim Miller didn't deny.

Lifetime has canceled plans to air the "Dance Moms" spin-off reality series "Abby's Virtual Dance Off" after choreographer Abby Lee Miller was accused of making racist comments to a former student and her mother.Xavier Collin / Sipa USA via AP

The controversy began earlier this week after Miller shared an image of a black square on Instagram in honor of Blackout Tuesday, a day when social media users stopped to reflect amid protests over George Floyd’s death in police custody. Miller's now-deleted post inspired Smith to share a lengthy reply on Instagram using the hashtag “#DontActLikeYouCare."

"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 of Miller before sharing a shocking anecdote about the dance instructor. "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 said Miller also told her daughter, Kamryn, that she and her mother were featured on the series because the show needed a "sprinkle of color."

Smith went on to say she pulled Kamryn off the show because she refused to let "this racist person have any part of my daughter’s life," adding, "People need to be held accountable not just for the injustices but for also for being a closet racist."

Miller responded to the claims by apologizing to Smith and her daughter on Instagram.

"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."

Miller also promised to "do better" going forward.

"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," she stated. "While I cannot change the past or remove the harm I have done, I promise to educate myself, learn, grow, and do better."

Smith shared the image of Miller's apology note on her own Instagram page, telling her followers she refused to accept it because it was "not sincere."

"My daughter and I have yet to hear directly from Abby Lee Miller," she wrote, pointing out that the choreographer didn't reach out by telephone, send a personal message, or even tag Smith in her apology.

Smith added that she shared her story about Miller to show how it "negatively impacted my daughter," and she felt that "it resonated with many others because of the distressing times in our country."

"At this point, this is bigger than Kamryn and I," she added. "It’s about the potential effect that (Miller) has on the future of dance and negative, stereotypical influences on young, aspiring dancers of color."