Pretty Little Liars' Lindsey Shaw on backlash to TikTok dance comments: 'Sorry you were offended'
Lindsey Shaw, who starred in Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide and Pretty Little Liars, is defending herself and taking time off social media after people called her recent TikTok post problematic and anti-Black.
The actress shared a teary video on her Instagram Stories on Sunday, saying she "did not mean anything in any kind of way" in reference to a now-deleted TikTok (which some users saved). In the video, Shaw appeared to mock a popular clip of Black creators on the platform performing a dance, writing, "Hey, are we OK? What the f--- is this?"
"I just have to say right now that the hate in my inbox is not okay," Shaw said on her Story. "I did not mean anything in any kind of way. I am learning every day, as I think everybody is. And this kind of hate just needs to evaporate from the planet, no matter who it's directed towards. Crocodile tears? No, dude — this is like my soul out there. If you know anything about what I stand for or what I believe in, you know that it's not this."
Shaw went on to say that she's "sorry you were offended" and she only meant to poke fun at differences between millennials and Gen Z on the app.
"I think we all need to vibrate higher for the future, and I know I'm going to keep learning. For my own mental health, I needed to take a step back from social media anyway," she said. "But I'm not here to offend or belittle anybody. At all. I thought that the millennial and Gen Z thing was a thing on TikTok. The intention wasn't that serious, y'all. I gotta just go off of here for a little while. But I appreciate you, I love you, and I'll be back. And I hope that I know more, and I hope we all have a little more compassion and understanding."
Social media users also pointed out that while Shaw seemed to have an issue with the Black creators' video, she praised her former Ned's Declassified costar Devon Werkheiser when he made a TikTok doing the same dance with the original clip behind him.
Werkheiser weighed in on the issue Monday, acknowledging that Black TikTokers are often hated on and not credited for popular trends, and that Shaw was wrong.
"Lindsey [made] a very unnecessary video hating on the most popular trend on TikTok that happens to be created by Black creators, and getting rather reactionary and defensive in her comment section before deleting the video," he said.
However, Devon said Shaw was not racist and that she's "a hater on all sorts of things: Black, white, brown, popular, unpopular." He added that his friend has a "good heart and is dealing with personal issues," and he is standing by her because "friends don't get canceled in real life."
Representatives for Shaw did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.