- "Dance Moms" star Mackenzie Ziegler, who has become a social media personality since leaving the show in 2016, is responding to fans' criticism of her frequent socializing during the pandemic.
- The 16-year-old, who boasts 19.2 million followers on TikTok and 14.7 million followers on Instagram, was spotted attending gatherings with fellow influencers in August.
- In an Instagram story, the teen apologized for her behavior and promised to be "more careful" going forward – but faced backlash when she continued to spend time with friends.
- In two recent TikTok live streams, Ziegler said that she "literally can't" avoid seeing her friends indefinitely and that she was tested weekly for COVID-19.
- Some commenters, however, called the teen's behavior "selfish" and accused her of "wasting" COVID-19 tests.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
"Dance Moms" alum Mackenzie Ziegler is addressing her approach to social distancing amid the pandemic — but some of her followers don't seem satisfied with her explanation.
The dancer-turned-musician and TikTok star initially stirred up controversy online when she was spotted attending several gatherings with fellow influencers in August, including a party at the Hype House. While Ziegler's mother, Melissa Gisoni, defended her daughter online and denied that she was attending parties, the 16-year-old posted an Instagram story apologizing for not appropriately social distancing, adding that she was struggling to adjust to the "new normal" and promised to me "more careful" with her choices moving forward.
The teenager, however, continued to see friends at her home, spurring more criticism from her followers.
In a recent TikTok Live, re-posted by the internet news and commentary Twitter account @defnoodles, Ziegler addressed fan comments questioning her decision to continue to socialize with friends.
"First of all, I'm not gonna go my whole life without seeing my friends because, like, I literally can't. There's no way I can do that," she said in the clip. "And I feel like everyone feels that too."
When viewers continued to ask questions about her social distancing measures, Ziegler explained that she is frequently tested for COVID-19.
"We all get tested before, and they're pretty much only quarantining at my house," the visibly exasperated teenager said. "We all get tested — well I get tested every week and they get tested before they come to my house."
While many commenters viewing the live stream responded with heart emojis, Ziegler's explanation did not go over smoothly on Twitter.
"… what does she think the rest of us are doing?" one commenter responded to the clip of the live stream.
"She makes it seem like she can't [FaceTime] her friends. Sick and tired of people coming up with this bull—- of an excuse and people just accepting it," another wrote.
In another TikTok Live, which was re-posted to the popular @tiktokroom Instagram account, Ziegler reiterated that she was "being careful" and "getting tested" — and she resented fans' feedback suggesting that she "didn't care" about others' safety during the pandemic.
"I apologized, I made a mistake. I went out, and it was stupid, and I apologized for that," she said. "And I obviously care about you guys."
The post quickly flooded with critical comments.
"How many times is she gonna apologize then keep doing it,"' one commenter wrote.
"Yes! Waste the tests!" another quipped. "Yes! Don't social distance!"
Representatives for Mackenzie Ziegler did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Source: Read Full Article