Lindsey Shaw, known for playing Moze on Nickelodeon’s Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, responded to a storm of hate messages in a tearful Instagram story. The hate comments, which have spread like wildfire across Lindsey’s social media, were sparked after the former child star demeaned a TikTok video made by a group of Black TikTokers.
“The hate mail in my inbox is not OK. OK?” Lindsey Shaw said on Instagram, eyes red and blotchy. “I did not mean anything in any kind of way,”
The backlash came after the Pretty Little Liars actress stitched a TikTok, responding to @usimmango’s video, which received more than 100 million views. The video begins with @usimmango’s original TikTok, in which he and a group of friends do a silly dance, shimming their shoulders while subtly moving their arms from side to side.
Lindsey’s response came immediately after, in which the former Nickelodeon star looks into the camera in disgust and amusement. “Hey,” she begins. “Are we okay?” The actress then asks, “what the f—k is this?” before mimicking the dance moves coined by the black TikToker.
The response video blew up, but was swiftly deleted after viewers tore Lindsey Shaw apart. Hate messages poured in, many claiming Lindsey’s video was racist and bigoted because the dance moves were shown off by a group of Black people.
“I’m not here to offend or belittle anybody. At all,” Lindsey claimed in her apology video. “I thought that the millennial and Gen Z thing was a thing on TikTok. This intention wasn’t that serious, y’all. 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 towards.”
According to TMZ, the Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide alum ran her apology video idea by her former co-star, Daniel Curtis Lee, who played “Cookie” in the Nickelodeon comedy. The actor explained that Lindsey had contacted him after the hate messages began pouring in. Though the TikTok video referencing the dance trend was deleted, Lindsey’s inbox was still flooded with responses.
Daniel claimed he advised Lindsey Shaw that if she were to respond to the racism allegations, she should do it in a lighthearted way. Lindsey opted for the “crying route” instead, which Daniel explained only opened her up to further hate.
Though Daniel Curtis Lee admitted the TikTok, made by his friend of 20 years, was not racist but did include a distasteful take on the dance trend. Regardless of his opinion, Daniel acknowledged that her reaction to the dance offended people, and therefore she should say less, not more.
The situation drove Lindsey Shaw to quit social media entirely, and in her apology video, she announced that she’d be MIA for a while. “I am sorry you were offended,” she said in the video. But “we all need to vibrate higher for the future. I think for my own mental health I need to take a step back from social media.”
Lindsey concluded the video, explaining that “yeah, I’ve gotta just go off of here for a little while, but I appreciate you, I love you and I’ll be back.” The Instagram story has since disappeared, but some early viewers were quick to save both the deleted TikTok and the expired apology. Those individuals have shared them on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, and it seems the problem isn’t going away with Lindsey’s social media detox.
Daniel Lee Curtis, or “Cookie,” wasn’t the only Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide alum to give their opinion on the matter. Responding to the controversy in his own TikTok, Devon Werkheiser, or Ned, pointed out that Black TikTokers are often hated on and discredited on the platform, and aren’t given just credit for the trends they create.
Devon admitted that his friend and co-star was wrong and that “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 continued, claiming that Lindsey was not racist and that hates “on all sorts of things: Black, white, brown, popular, unpopular.” He also acknowledged that his friend has a “good heart and is dealing with personal issues.” Despite what social media is doing to Lindsey, Devon Werkheiser said he won’t be canceling his friend, because “friends don’t get canceled in real life.”