For the past decade, Disney Channel has reigned supreme as the network for everyone from children to young adults and even their parents. The stars of the biggest shows experience megastardom – seeing their faces embellished on lunch boxes and backpacks, hearing their music over the radio, and recognizing the important roles they have as models to the children that so love them. Constantly in the limelight and put on a pedestal by watchers and parents of watchers alike, the stars are held to a higher standard of living. Recently actresses Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and Vanessa Hudgens have been making headlines for their frankly un-Disney-like behavior.
Leader of the “Disney-ssenters” Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) was presented a Bob Marley cake at her 19th birthday party. Her response, “You know you’re a stoner when your friends make you a ‘Bob Miley’ cake,” stirred up controversy, in accordance with Miley’s past indiscretions – a video of her smoking the legal drug Salvia, some racy performance outfits and dance moves, and the Vanity Fair cover shot of a bare-backed 15 year old Miley. Compared to some of the tactlessness of other famous teens, her “reckless” behavior would be deemed tame on most accounts; however, under the scrutinous eyes of the Disney executives, her newfound habits have now rendered them incapable of endorsing her image. Avid Disney spectators may recently have noticed Miley’s total lack of presence on the channel – Hannah Montana re-runs no longer show and all “Miley-endorsed” messages have been taken down.
Demi Lovato (Camp Rock, Sunny with a Chance) took time away from Disney to check herself into a rehabilitation clinic to deal with self mutilation, eating, and bipolar disorders. At around the same time that her personal issues led to her punching one of her tour dancers in the face, a photo of Demi in provocative clothing and pose was released to the web. Similarly, nude photos of Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) surfaced during 2007 and again in 2009, impacting her career with Disney.
The scandals, regardless of controversy, have proven that Disney child stars are just that – children. They make mistakes, they act out. The only difference is their entire lives are on camera, for all the world to see.