The actress starred on 'Dance Moms' when she was a child.
Maddie Ziegler's mom recently offered her an apology. During an appearance on the High Low With EmRata podcast, the 20-year-old Dance Moms alum revealed that her mom apologized to her for putting her through the reality series as a child.
"Last year, I was having a really bad panic attack and I called my mom and things were coming up from the past, and she apologized to me," Ziegler told host Emily Ratajkowski. "She was like, 'I'm so sorry I put you through that.' It's so sad because she would never want to hurt us, but none of us knew how crazy it would get."
One example of her negative Dance Moms experience came when Ziegler was filming the first season of the show.
"When I was doing the show, in the first season I was seven, there were male producers saying, 'This is what you have to say,'" Ziegler recalled. "My mom wasn't in the room, so I was like, 'OK, I just have to do whatever I'm being told.' They would say, 'Say you're the best, say you're better than everyone else, say blah blah blah.'"
Because of that, Ziegler said she "was perceived as a little brat in the first season."
"I remember we watched the first episode at a viewing party for the launch of the show, and I just cried because I was like, 'Oh my gosh. Everyone thinks I'm this b**ch and I'm not. I'm seven!'" she said. "It was so weird. It helped me a lot to be able to be like, 'I can say now. I can stand up for myself.' But being so young, you don't realize all those things."
On top of that, Ziegler said that while the public perceived her as "the most well-treated dancer" on the show, that wasn't actually the case.
"Looking back -- and a lot of people have started to say this -- it's like, 'Wow, she actually had the most pressure on her,' because she was like, 'You're my girl, so you have to lead everyone to victory every time,' which is just not sustainable," Ziegler said, seemingly referring to her one-time dance teacher, Abby Lee Miller.
All of that led to Ziegler trying to get out of her Dance Moms contract with the help of her mom and Sia.
"[My mom] really did everything to try to break our contract and pull us out, and eventually did with the help of Sia," she said. "... It was hard... We would do almost 30 episodes a season, so it consumed our lives."
Given that she was so young when she started working, Ziegler said that she's "blocked out so much of my childhood that I actually don't know what my life was like even just before working."
"It's so weird," she admitted. "It's weird to find out things that I did when I was younger on TikTok. I'll see people posting things of me, and I'm like, 'I don't even remember doing that.'"
Now, instead of dance, Ziegler's focus is acting, saying that the craft has "become the forefront of what I love right now."
Watch the video below for more on Ziegler.