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'Racist’ talent agent to undergo anger management classes after WhatsApp rant

17 September 2018 - 12:48 By Kyle Zeeman
Mary Ann Miller made racist slurs against black members on the WhatsApp group.
Mary Ann Miller made racist slurs against black members on the WhatsApp group.
Image: Instagram/ Mary Ann Miller

Talent agent and actress Mary Ann Miller has apologised for her comments on a WhatsApp group for entertainment industry creatives, telling TshisaLIVE that she is "seeking help" and enrolling in anger management classes.

Mary Ann was involved in race row on the group last week after her criticism of the spelling on an advert for a free actors' workshop sparked a fight over the use of vernac on the group.

TshisaLIVE has seen screenshots and heard voice notes from the conversations between Miller and several others on the group, where she swore at black group members and told them to go back to their "caves" and "wait for Mandela to resurrect" them. 

In a statement sent to TshisaLIVE, Mary Ann apologised for her remarks but maintained that she was not a racist.

"For years I’ve prided myself in being truly non-racial and have strived to work, socialize and integrate with friends of all nationalities, colours and languages. Unfortunately I have to accept that listening to myself, I can accept I still have bias and have much work to do to address my deeper psychological issues. However, I am not a racist."

Mary Ann said she suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and her medication sometimes stopped her from thinking clearly.

"This is in no way mitigates my behavior, as I understand I have deeper issues that need addressing. I am seeking help and as soon as it can possibly be scheduled I’ll be enrolling in an anger management classes, as I understand that I need to address my issues."

She claimed that many of her comments were out of context but acknowledged that her comments were "vastly unacceptable" and "overtly racist". 

Mary Ann was dragged by some on social media for claiming in her defence last week that she had black friends whom she often helped by buying wine for them. "I buy them wine. I always try to help them. If I have offended anyone, I am sorry. I did not mean everything I said," she told Sowetan.

Explaining her comments, Mary Ann said it stemmed from her love of wine.

"I love wine.  As artists/extra’s nothing is more fun for us than relaxing with a glass of wine after a hard 16 hour days shooting.  My very ill-advised and condescending 'I buy them wine' statement was meant in this context.  I apologize unreservedly for it.  I am ill-informed.  I had no idea of the cultural significance of my statement."