Disney and Nickelodeon breed troubled celebrities
Networks such as Disney and Nickelodeon have been the trampolines to propell children up into super stardom.
Many now famous celebrities got their starts on these channels by singing, dancing and acting their way into Hollywood.
Unfortunately, for some children’s channel alums, fame has brought out the worst in them.
Most recently, Britney Spears, former “Mickey Mouse Club” alum has been the car crash that people can’t stop watching. Her life is in shambles and the media is taking advantage of her current vulnerability.
Spears used to be on “The New Mickey Mouse Club” which is a former variety show recorded before a live studio audience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with a cast of teenage talents. The cast performed dances, songs, and skits. Britney’s fellow mouseketeers included Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera.
After her start on the Disney channel, Spears went on to get a record deal with Jive records. Her song “Hit me baby one more time” soared to the top of the charts, and from that point on, Britney Spears became a cultural icon. Spear’s life has been in the public spotlight ever since her “Mickey Mouse Club” days.
As Spear’s career skyrocketed, it became evident that staying on top was much harder than getting there.
For instance, when Spears was 22-years-old, she married her childhood friend on the Las Vegas strip. According to CNN.com, only two days later an annulment order was signed and the marriage was off. Spears was attacked by the media for her impulsive and crazy behavior.
Spears is no stranger to the paparazzi. After this mishap, the amount of media attention Spears received was even higher.
She has been photographed with her legs wide open getting out of a car exposing her private parts to the cameras, and soon after, the whole world. She has also been criticized for her fashion choices, her partying and drinking habits and the lowest blow, how she takes care of her children.
After divorcing Kevin Federline, trouble began to brew. The flame that lit the explosion of Britney began when she refused to give her two sons to Federline’s bodyguards, who were due to pick them up at her house.
According to Usmagazine.com, after Spear’s refusal, police were called to her house. Spears was carried out of her house on a gurney by the ambulance to be taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Spears has been in and out of the hospital and according to Usmagazine.com she was admitted involuntarily under a “mental evaluation hold” after an intervention by her family.
Kate Chitwood, a 19-year-old freshman accounting major, said she believes growing up in the spotlight and having huge amounts of success and connections in Hollywood helped contribute to Spear’s downfall.
“Spears has fame and fortune and the ability to get away with anything she wants,” Chitwood said. “Because she’s had so much attention growing up, when it fades away she does anything to get the attention back on her.”
Unfortunately, Britney passed the jinxed torch to her younger sister, Jamie Lynn, who is following in her infamous path.
Jamie Lynn Spears is 16-years-old and pregnant. This is an example of a current child star gone wrong.
The younger Spears has a hit TV show “Zoey 101” on Nickelodeon and she used to be on the Nickelodeon sketch comedy show “All That.” Spears began working on “Zoey 101” at the ripe age of 13 and still works on the show now.
The show is about an all boys academy which is starting to accept female students. She decides to become one of the first girls to attend the boarding school. It is about her living away from home and being one of very few girls amongst a swarm of boys.
Some people believe the whole pregnancy is a hoax and one big media stunt.
“I think it is a publicity stunt and I think they are just trying to take the attention off of Britney,” Jamie Cohen, a 20-year-old sophomore religious studies major, said. “I don’t think it’s real.”
The Spears sisters are not the only people who grew up in the spotlight on kids’ television and are now in shambles.
Lindsay Lohan, a now very famous young celebrity began her career with the Walt Disney produced movie “The Parent Trap.” She then moved onto other Disney produced movies such as “Life Size,” “Get a Clue,” “Freaky Friday” and “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen,” making her name recognizable in Hollywood.
Her last year, according to Usmagazine.com, was full of car accidents, rehab visits and DUI arrests. She has been charged with reckless driving being under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. She also released a statement admitting that she is addicted to alcohol and drugs. She has gone to rehab to get help.
Alcohol and drugs are not the only problems going on in these celebrities’ lives. Eating disorder among former child stars has also been a trend.
Mary-Kate Olsen, one of Disney’s most successful alumni, has battled an eating disorder. Olsen has been in the spotlight since she was a baby on “Full House” and she and her twin sister have appeared in several Disney movies.
In 2004, Olsen entered a treatment clinic for her eating disorder to get help.
Hilary Duff, another Disney channel former star who was the star of the show “Lizzie McGuire,” lost a noticeable amount of weight during her booming career. According to Usmagazine.com, Hilary said to Britain’s Mail on Sunday that “I did get skinny. I’ve felt that pressure like everyone else in my position.”
Here, Duff talks about the pressure to be thin in Hollywood.
Celebrities are considered as role models, but according to some people, their actions show otherwise.
“I think it’s interesting how our society and our little girls are brought up to look up to these celebrities as role models, but in the end their not role models at all,” Jonni Vonburg, a 20-year-old sophomore studio arts major, said. “What they do, such as being in rehab, is not the life to live.”
Although there are many examples of child stars who let fame get a hold of them, there are still some that have not let the Disney-Nickelodeon curse affect them.
Miley Ray Cyrus is the current Disney channel star of the show “Hannah Montana.” This 15-year-old has yet to be seen drinking, partying or doing anything illegal. She is gaining popularity, and her Best of Both Worlds tour is selling out in minutes, according to Eonline.com.
Also according to Eonline.com, Cyrus’s 54-date tour is on the path to outsell the Police reunion tour, which is presently holds StubHub’s record for best selling tour in company history.
Cyrus is on the right track and so far this Disney starlet is gaining momentum to be one of the most popular celebrities in the country.
People have to wonder if growing up on channels such as Disney and Nickelodeon gives a person more of a chance of being on the cover of People as the next star going to rehab, or maybe it’s just that these kids could not handle the responsibilities that go along with success.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Melanie Cohn at Melanie.Cohn@colorado.edu