Disney Pulled 2 TV Episodes After Demi Lovato Called Out Her Former Employer
Disney stars like Demi Lovato have gone on to achieve superstardom after leaving the TV shows that make them famous. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have criticisms for the network. Lovato used their platform to call out the Mouse for a joke on the spinoff of her show, leading executives to take action.
Demi Lovato became a TV star on the Disney Channel
Lovato landed a few roles as a child appearing in shows like Barney & Friends. However, their star power rose when they starred in Camp Rock in 2008 alongside the Jonas Brothers. Camp Rock was successful and even garnered a sequel: Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. Around this time, Lovato began their singing career, releasing their debut album, Don’t Forget.
Disney Channel recognized keeping Lovato around was a smart move. She landed the role as the titular lead in the comedy series Sonny with A Chance. Her character is an actor herself — she stars in a sketch show-within-a-show, So Random!
Sonny with A Chance debuted in 2009 and went off the air in January 2011. Disney announced its cancellation following Lovato’s departure from the series. The actor’s exit also facilitated the show’s spinoff, So Random!
Demi Lovato called out Disney Channel for joking about eating disorders
Lovato has been vocal about her decision to leave Disney Channel. She already had an eating disorder before becoming famous, but getting into the industry made it worse. “I kind of looked around and had a moment where I was like, ‘Wow. This is so terrifyingly normalized,” she told Bustle.
Following their time in treatment, Lovato called out their former employer on Twitter for an insensitive joke made in an episode of the Zendaya-led series Shake It Up. The moment in question features an actor saying, “I could just eat you guys up. You know if I ate,” before laughing hysterically.
“Dear Disney Channel, eating disorders are not something to joke about,” Lovato wrote. They added, “I find it really funny how a company can lose one of their actress’ from the pressures of an EATING DISORDER and yet still make a joke about that very disease.”
The Disney Channel apologized for the comments and pulled 2 episodes
After Lovato’s tweets, Disney Channel reached out to the singer to make amends. The company tweeted at her, saying, “We hear you & are pulling both episodes as quickly as possible & reevaluating them.” In another tweet, the company added, “It’s NEVER our intention to make light of eating disorders.”
Her efforts got the Shake It Up episode pulled. Additionally, the story gets even close to home. Disney also pulled an episode of So Random! for making similar insensitive comments and implying that “eating too many carbs” prevents one from looking their best. Oddly enough, the So Random! joke was made by one of Lovato’s closest friends, Matthew Scott Montgomery.