Miley Cyrus' performance on MTV's VMAs show has been slammed by everyone from Sinead O'Connor to Annie Lennox, but now one of Cyrus' own backup dancers is speaking out.
Hollis Jane, who played one of Cyrus' bears, says that she was left "shaking" and "crying" after the experience, reports US Weekly.
Jane is a self-described "little person," who believes she was hired for her height, not talent.
"I was a bear in Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance and... for the first time I felt truly ashamed of being a little person," Jane wrote on her blog on Oct. 9. "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."
"For decades, little people have not been taken seriously and we still continue to not be. 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," recalls Jane.
The dancer says that after the dress rehearsals for the VMAs she walked out of the Barclay Center shaking and crying: "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."
However, Jane went on to audition for Cyrus' tour after the VMAs, but ultimately turned it down, even though she needed the money.
"[I wondered] if it was worth that one day, when my future [possibly little person] child YouTubed Miley Cyrus and found me dancing onstage in a costume like that and said something like, 'But Mom, you don't let me do things like that,' and I had to explain that Momma did it to pay the bills. I wondered if it was worth feeling less than human again. And frankly, it wasn't," stated Jane.
She also did a Q&A on the social media site Reddit.com and was asked if she had any personal contact with Cyrus, "I had more with Robin Thicke. He was actually a really nice guy, introduced himself to all of us. She was a lot more aloof and didn't really interact with us."