Walt Disney has maintained a squeaky clean image through its programs and casting for years. The company is famous for providing kid-friendly entertainment and creating several careers. However, the Mouse doesn’t always succeed in ensuring its actors’ off-screen behaviors remain family-friendly as it has for years had to clean up many messes, including nude photo leak scandals. Let’s look at three of its biggest photo scandals and how Vanessa Hudgens‘ was different from other Disney stars.
Disney backed Vanessa Hudgens following the nude leak scandal
Hudgens found herself in the middle of controversy as her nude photos found their way online for all to see in 2007. This became a major issue considering Hudgens was still under the employ of Walt Disney and was supposed to appear in the third High School Musical film.
The scandal rocked the world and Hudgens’ life and despite it not being intentional, she didn’t get much sympathy from the public, with many people blaming the young actor for the leak. The photo showed Hudgens, 18, smiling and standing naked in front of a camera. Many assumed the actor had taken the picture to send to her High School Musical co-star and boyfriend at the time, Zac Efron.
The star publicly apologized for the photo after the parents of her younger fans expressed their dismay. She said:
“I want to apologize to my fans whose support and trust means the world to me. I am embarrassed over this situation and regret having ever taken these photos. I am thankful for the support of my family and friends.”
Disney also backed the star and announced they wouldn’t drop Hudgens from her contract, saying in a statement, “Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment.”
The House of Mouse said they hoped Hudgens “learned a valuable lesson.” Hudgens called the privacy breach “a really traumatizing thing,” but said she worked on herself and has been going strong since then.
Adrienne Bailon lost her contract due to a photo scandal
Adrienne Bailon rose to fame thanks to her role in The Cheetah Girls. However, at the height of her career, everything came tumbling down when nude photos of her leaked online. At the time, Bailon tried feigning innocence and blaming her publicist, Jonathan Jaxson, but when the backlash became too intense, the former publicist shared his account of the leak.
By Jaxson’s account, Bailon, who was dating Rob Kardashian at the time, wanted to achieve as much fame as those around her, including the Kardashians, according to Radar Online. Jaxson claimed this is why she was reportedly willing to leak her own photos.
“She was a very sweet girl that desperately wanted out of the kid-focused Disney star-making machine. So we had concocted a plan where we would act like her laptop was stolen at the airport in New York, and she was concerned because there were nude photos on there,” he said.
After the X-rated photos were released, Disney let Bailon go from her contract and subsequently from the musical group Cheetah Girls. She also lost a spot in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
Disney condemned a popular magazine for a racy Miley Cyrus photoshoot
Miley Cyrus’s wholesome image began shifting when she was 15 and photographed nude for Vanity Fair by Annie Leibowitz. The shoot saw Cyrus hold a satin sheet up her bare chest while looking over her shoulder. Although Cyrus and Leibowitz defended the photo shoot as “artistic,” they later apologized.
Disney accused the outlet of manipulating the 15-year-old into posing nude for sales. Years later, Cyrus retracted her apology by posting a New York Post article covering the news and writing, “I’M NOT SORRY. F— YOU”