Miley Cyrus has defended her use of little people as backing dancers, and denies she is exploiting them.
The ‘We Can’t Stop’ star is accompanied by short people on stage for her current Bangerz Tour, but insists they are employed to have fun rather than just because of their height.
Talking to MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow, she said: “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.
“They’re just like dancing, doing these cute moves and they’re awesome dancers just on their own. It’s not me telling them how to be.
“It’s really funny how serious people take it. And [people are] like, ‘You’re racist.’ And I’m like, ‘Really?’ We’re like a bunch of kids dancing around in, like, bear [suits], we don’t do choreography.”
One of Miley’s former backing dancers, Hollis Jane – who was spanked by the star on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) last year – previously said she felt used by the singer.
She wrote: “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.”
However, Hollis has now clarified her remark, saying she does not blame Miley, but “little people need to stop being seen, in my opinion, in the media as jokes.”