Hilary Duff’s Mom Once Claimed Her Daughter Left Disney Because the Network ‘Bullied’ Them

Hilary Duff rose to fame in the early 2000s as the star of Disney Channel’s Lizzie McGuire. The series was a huge hit, but Duff left the network after just a few years of working there. According to Duff’s mother, Susan Duff, Disney “bullied” her and her daughter.

Hilary Duff sitting in front of beige background
Hilary Duff | Sarah Morris/Getty Images

‘Lizzie McGuire’ could have continued to show Lizzie in high school

Lizzie McGuire follows a junior high student named Lizzie McGuire as she deals with friends, crushes, and other happenings in her adolescent life. As shown in The Lizzie McGuire Movie, the series ended with the characters graduating from junior high and preparing to move on to high school.

According to a 2003 article from Entertainment Weekly, Disney wanted to produce a follow-up show that centers around Lizzie as a high schooler. This series would be aired on ABC (which is owned by Disney) in the prime-time slot. However, Duff ended up not signing on to do this project.

Hilary Duff’s mom said her daughter left the franchise because of Disney

Hilary Duff in 2003 with her parents
Hilary Duff with her parents, Bob and Susan, in 2003 | Giulio Marcocchi /Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Lizzie McGuire’: Hilary Duff Only Went to Audition to Hang Out With Her Friends

As Entertainment Weekly reported, Duff was in talks with Disney about the Lizzie McGuire sequel project, but things broke down at the salary negotiation stage.

Susan, who has been managing Duff’s career, claimed, “Disney thought they’d be able to bully us into accepting whatever offer they wanted to make, and they couldn’t… We walked away from a sequel. They walked away from a franchise.”

She also added, “We weren’t feeling the love. They weren’t giving Hilary the respect she deserved.”

ABC allegedly offered Duff $35,000 per episode of the sequel, but other networks were offering her six figures per episode.

In response to reports about these salary negotiations, Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group president Nina Jacobson said, “We feel we were generous and we reached to make this happen. We’re only sorry the other side didn’t feel the same way.”

Hilary Duff almost starred in a ‘Lizzie McGuire’ reboot

RELATED: Hilary Duff’s ‘Lizzie McGuire’ Performance Was So Bad the Network Had to Hire An Acting Coach

In any case, Duff eventually tried to return to the Lizzie McGuire franchise over 15 years later. In 2019, news outlets announced that she would star in a reboot about Lizzie as a woman in her 30s.

“I think it’s the right time to set back in and have her go along with you in your 30s and all the fun times, and all of the big monumental moments, and all of the challenges that you’re faced with,” Duff told People in 2019. “I just thought that there was an opportunity there for her to be grown up and for her to be there for women again.”

The reboot was originally set to be released on Disney+. However, Disney halted production due to the show no longer aligning with Disney+’s PG image.

In February 2020, Duff urged Hulu to take on Lizzie McGuire, writing on social media, “It would be a dream if Disney would let us move the show to Hulu, if they were interested, and I could bring this beloved character to life again.”

Unfortunately for fans, filming for the reboot still has not been picked up again. It is not clear if or when that will happen.

Nonetheless, it seems Duff has moved on to work on another project. She will be starring on a How I Met Your Mother spinoff called How I Met Your Father, which will premiere on Hulu.