Singer defends use of black dancers and little people

Miley Cyrus has defended her ‘Bangerz’ tour against accusations of racism and exploitation.

The tour has come under fire for its sexually suggestive dance routines, one of which sees her simulate oral sex on a lookalike of former US President Bill Clinton, her use of black dancers and the adoption of twerking, which prompted of distasteful cultural appropriation levelled at the singer. Finally, Cyrus has also been accused of exploiting little people for having a number among her backing dancers.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow, who also profiled her for W magazine, she said: “It’s really funny how serious people take it. And they’re like, ‘You’re racist’. And I’m like, ‘Really?’ We’re like a bunch of kids dancing around in, like, bears, but we don’t do choreography. They’re just like dancing, doing these cute moves and they’re awesome dancers like just on their own. It’s not me telling them how to be. We’re making them feel sexual and beautiful.

Speaking more specifically about one of the dancers, she added: “We’re all about lifting her up and making her feel so sexy all the time, and having her dance – she’s actually an awesome dancer.”

However, one of Miley’s former backing dancers, Hollis Jane – who was spanked by the star on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards last year – previously said she felt used by the singer, at the time writing: “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. 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.”

She has since clarified the remark, saying she doesn’t blame Cyrus, but that “little people need to stop being seen, in my opinion, in the media as jokes.”

Last month, while supporting Cyrus in Anaheim, California, Sky Ferreira injured her leg and required 60 stitches meaning she has had to temporarily pull out of the tour but recovered enough to rejoin her a few days later for shows in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Jose.