Adam Shankman recently uploaded images of 16-year-old Cyrus straddling a chair on his Twitter.com page after taking the shots in the singer/actress' makeup trailer.
The pictures quickly spread online, prompting some critics to question whether Cyrus' poses in the snaps were appropriate for a teenage role model.
But Shankman has moved swiftly to calm the furor.
Defending his decision to post the photos, he says, "Miley is a sweet angel who works tirelessly and endlessly, and is allowed to have fun in the make up room! Seriously! Lighten up or no more behind the scenes pics! She's like my angel little sister."
It's not the first time Cyrus has come under fire for taking controversial pictures. She posed seminude for an Annie Leibovitz photoshoot; posted images of herself flashing her underwear; and in February, she was forced to apologize for taking snaps in which she and her friends appeared to mock Asians by pulling on their eyes.
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