Miranda Derrick’s sister Melanie Wilking says she doesn’t want to be ‘defined by trauma’ in new video message

Miranda Derrick’s sister Melanie Wilking says she doesn’t want to be ‘defined by trauma’ in new video message

Miranda Derrick’s sister Melanie Wilking is starting to address her followers after the release of Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult.

Following her initial statement released on June 2, Melanie Wilking (now Ekeler) took to her Instagram Stories to share her gratitude in a lengthy video message. “I’m very thankful that Netflix gave us the platform to share our story to more people, because in the beginning, you know, you could have just thought that it was a isolated family incident,” she said on June 2. “And now, watching the documentary, you know that it’s so much bigger than that.”

Melanie and her family went viral in 2022 when they went live on Instagram in the hopes of exposing Shekinah church pastor Robert Shinn for allegedly controlling young dancers in Los Angeles through his church and his management company 7M Films. At the time, many didn’t believe their accusations, though their plea led multiple 7M dancers to leave the church and come forward with stories of financial, emotional, and sexual abuse.

Of the responses to the documentary since its release on May 29, Melanie says her favourite messages come from parents who watched it with their own teens and young adult children. “They watch the documentary together and kind of [sit] down with their kids and go through some of those red flags that you may see when it comes to highly controlled environments,” she said. “Because this can happen to anybody.”

Courtesy of Netflix

After three years of fighting this battle, Melanie says she’s planning to continue to share her family’s story but is hoping to find “balance” when it comes to her social media feed moving forward. “It’s like this weird balance of keeping the story alive, because we don’t want people to just forget about it, and then move on with their lives,” she continued. “Like, no, this is still very serious. And we don’t want Robert to be able to do this to more people.”

A few days before the documentary’s release, Melanie married NFL player Austin Ekeler with Miranda Derrick in attendance. However, the documentary alleges that Shinn’s followers have been encouraged to spend time with their families in order to share social media content with concerned fans. Miranda and her husband, James “BDash” Derrick, have yet to address the documentary directly, though Miranda has shared multiple dance videos since its release. The comments on those videos have been limited.

Melanie told her followers she will continue to post wedding, honeymoon, and dance content on her feeds for the sake of her “mental health.” Though she admits it’s been a “challenge,” she says, “I can’t let the negativity get to me and I need to continue to live a happy and positive life.”

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