JoJo Siwa has addressed allegations that blackface was used in her latest music video for “Nonstop.”
The 17-year-old internet phenomenon posted a statement on her social media accounts on Friday (June 26) regarding a backup dancer who was accused of blackface. The dancer has been identified as Lilliana Ketchman.
“I need to set the record straight about a few things because some have been irresponsible in recent stories and posts about me, and everyone seems to rush to conclusions without having all of the facts,” Siwa began.
Siwa explained that she began blocking and unfollowing people due to hate, not the controversy. “I was tired of seeing the personal hate on me,” she shared. “Some people will do anything for attention and that includes being mean. People were sending me really horrible and disgusting messages about my appearance, my sexuality, my content, and overall just being hateful.”
“More importantly, I would like to address the music video that we shot for ‘NONSTOP’ in February,” the Dance Moms alum continued. “We’re talking about kids dressing up as circus animals! No one in my video is wearing blackface.”
Behind the scenes photos show that Ketchman’s face was painted like a monkey. Similarly, each backup dancer had their face painted like various animals.
“It’s awful that anyone’s mind would even go there,” she added. “Kids dressing in animal costumes, having their faces painted to look like animals, acting the part. There were zebras, tigers, dogs, clowns, mermaids, everything.”
“I’ve addressed Black Lives Matter issues previously on my social media, I will say it again for the ones in the back: Black Lives Matter today, tomorrow, yesterday and forever,” she emphasized. “I’m on the right side of history here. Stop trying to make this about something it isn’t.”
To finish her post, Siwa used a lyric from one of her iconic songs. “Instead of trying to drag everyone down, let’s be positive and come back like a boomerang,” she concluded.
See the social media post and watch the “Nonstop” video, below.