Dark secrets Behind Disney Channel, part 2

Messed up rules Disney stars had to follow.


JoJo Baker, Staff Writer

Disney Channel had numerous rules that Disney stars had to follow while working with the company. According to multiple sources, here are 11 more rules that Disney stars handled:

  • Other theme parks are off-limits!

According to the October article published on TheTalko, Disney and Universal Studios are in a theme park war over dominance. Disney enforces a strict rule that forbids its stars to be seen at Universal Studios. Disney does not reprimand their stars for disregarding the rule, but they do become angry with the stars.

  • Promote parks

One perk that comes with being a Disney star is getting complete access to DisneyWorld or Disneyland. Along with getting the VIP treatment when attending, however, when a Disney Star goes to a park they’re influenced to post about their experience. Most times, they are asked to attend the parks when a new attraction is open to provide publicity.

  • No mature roles

The 1937 Snow White voice actress, Adriana Caselotti, was forbidden from taking other roles. In 1937, voice actors were not really credited, not until 1943 at least. Walt Disney forbade Caselotti from doing any further TV, films, radio broadcast or performances as it would have revealed her secret identity. After Caselotti went to Disney to ask for more work, Disney stated, “I absolutely cannot use you again, and the simple reason is that your voice is too identifiable.”

  • Avoid scandals

Rather than acknowledge and move on from a mistake, Disney puts their stars under lockdown. Vanessa Hudges had the well-known, nude photo scandal in 2007. According to an interview Joe Jonas had with Vulture, the scandal almost made Hudgens lose her job.

“We were working with Disney in 2007 when the Vanessa Hudgens nude-photo scandal happened,” Jonas explained. “We heard that she had to be in the Disney offices for a whole day because they were trying to figure out how to keep her on lockdown. We’d hear execs talking about it, and they would tell us that they were so proud of us for not making the same mistakes, which made us feel like we couldn’t ever mess up.”

After finding out about the sticky situation Hudgens was in, Disney stars felt like everything they did had to be perfect.

  • Brutal Hours

Any and every television show has considerably lengthy hours, but Disney Channel takes it a little too far. Disney wants to get as much done as possible no matter what time it is and will have actors working up to 14 hours a day. Miley Cyrus interviewed with Marie Claire explaining that she worked up to 12 [hours] a day and drank a more than sufficient amount of caffeine.

“Every morning, I was getting coffee jammed down my throat to wake me up,” Cyrus said. “I just had to keep going, be tough, be strong. Everything happened to me on that set.”

  • They don’t get paid much

Most people think that TV and movie stars are paid a fortune, but Disney didn’t get the memo. Disney pays their stars whatever amount they want. If any star had an issue with said payment they weren’t heard. There was no room to talk about payment. In an interview with Elle, Miley Cryus explained how she was by far the least paid star on Hannah Montana.

“I mean, at one point—they’ll probably kill me for saying it—I was probably the least paid person on my [Hannah Montana] cast because I didn’t know any better. I was just like, ‘I can be on Disney! Yeah, I want to do it!’ My name was Miley on my show, but I didn’t own my name—we didn’t think about that. Like, yeah, you can use my name on your show, sure!”

Her mother had grown worried of the way Disney had been treating Miley so she hired “smart people” to handle the legal debates on the Cyrus family’s behalf.

  • Work and school

All Disney stars were required to balance all of their school work whilst working on set. It was pretty stressful for multiple former Disney stars, especially stars who were the face of the show.

Miley Cyrus explained in an interview with CBS This Morning, Cyrus says, “I think what was hard for me was balancing everything. I think it got harder when I started touring as both — I toured as Hannah Montana and as myself,”

Cyrus continued (via W magazine). Cyrus shared, “I think now that I’m older, I realize that’s a lot to put on a kid. … To have them have to get their makeup done and then also balance school.”

  • Role Model

Disney Channel didn’t want their stars included in any drama due to the strong influence they had. Many kids have grown up saying that Disney Channel has shaped their lives. Selena Gomez sat down to talk to New York Times about how her influence on kids was stressful for her. 

“I’m growing and changing,” Gomez said. “I was in a relationship, and I was being managed by my parents, and I was still under Hollywood and Disney, and I was being held to this expectation of being the good girl.”

  • Disney doesn’t listen

Disney had a habit of shutting their stars out. They even were known for telling their stars to shut up or that their inputs did not matter. Former Suite Life on Deck star, Cole Sprouse, explained in an interview with Vulture that Disney never wanted to listen to them.

“I mean, we had a really awesome idea for where the show needed to go,” Sprouse said. “We were 18. If that isn’t old enough to know exactly what the show needs, then … Well, I would beg to disagree. I don’t think [Disney] was willing to work with us, really ever. So we stopped the show.”

  • Cutting them off moments notice

Disney doesn’t give second chances and cuts workers off instantly. Prime example is Mitchell Musso, star of Pair of Kings and Hannah Montana. The star was arrested for DUI in 2011 which made Disney Channel decide to fire Musso from both shows and eventually banned from the studios.

  • Audition for roles

Disney Channel is notorious for using their Disney stars in multiple projects. Nevertheless Disney isn’t as into nepotism as one is chosen to believe. Disney encourages their stars who wish to stay with the family to always audition. No matter how many Disney projects you have been in, Disney asks stars who want to be in another production to audition. Alyson Stoner explained in an interview with The Night Time Show podcast that she had constantly auditioned regardless how many roles she was previously in.

“The assumption is that once you’re in with Disney, you’re in. But I still auditioned for every single thing I got with them. In fact, I was still sent on first calls with people who had never been on an audition in their lives, up until the end. Which was, you know, kind of frustrating.” Stoner explained, “I was grateful, but then I was like, ‘Man, I’ve been on 12 shows for you and I’m coming in here auditioning for three different roles and not getting any of them and it’s almost like you don’t know who I am or what I’m capable of.’”


COD student Sarah Mitrache said the rule that surprised her the most was the dress code rule.

“The one where they pushed a dress code. And they basically dressed them outside of their shows,” Mitrache said. “Because yeah, like, technically, it’s a job, but I find it weird that your job would tell you what to wear outside of work.”

Mitrache continues by saying that her Disney role models growing up had to be Brenda Song and Vanessa Hudgens.

“It was really cool to see characters that looked like me like Brenda Song and Vanessa Hudgens,” Mitrache said.” Because, you know, it was hard growing up and not getting representation. So those characters are very important to me.”

Mitrache believes Cyrus had the roughest time on Disney Channel.

“She was 13 when the show first started, and I believe she was 18 when it ended,” Mitrache said. “And I know she was pretty open about what she went through during that time and how hard it was. And you know that time in your life is about exploring who you are because you’re an adult, and she didn’t have that kind of freedom. I think that’s why a lot of people were shocked by how she changed her image so drastically after the show ended.”

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