Zac! Miley! Shia! Disney Channel Stars’ Biggest Controversies


Not all Disney Channel stars keep their Mickey Mouse ears on straight.

Miley Cyrus, who rose to fame as the title character on Hannah Montana from 2006 to 2011, is one of the more outspoken former Disney darlings. The “Mother’s Daughter” songstress isn’t afraid to reflect on her past behavior, including getting caught smoking a bong before her Disney Channel series wrapped.

“One time I went backstage at Disneyland, and Peter Pan was smoking a cigarette. And I was like, ‘That’s me. That’s the kind of dreams I’m crushing,’” Cyrus told Elle in July 2019. “That’s how everyone felt with the bong video, but I’m not a Disney mascot. I’m a person.”

Joe Jonas also reflected on his time at with network. The DNCE frontman and his brothers starred in the Disney Channel Original Movies Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2 and landed two seasons of their own series, Jonas L.A.

“Disney is great at creating fame. They’ve done it with so many pop stars and young actors, from Hilary Duff to the High School Musical crew,” the Jonas Brothers singer told New York magazine in December 2013. “Miley Cyrus played an already-famous pop star on a Disney show, Hannah Montana, and as we were starting to blow up, we got a boost by playing ourselves, as her favorite band on her own show. … That was definitely our first major love shown by Disney, and I think it might have been a trial to see whether they should give us a show of our own, and they did.”

Jonas, however, admitted that “being a part of a company like that comes with certain expectations.”

“Not overtly, but there was a subtle vibe,” he explained at the time. “We were working with Disney in 2007 when the Vanessa Hudgens nude photo scandal happened. 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. We didn’t want to disappoint anyone — our parents, our fans, our employers — so we put incredible pressure on ourselves, the kind of pressure that no teenager should be under.”

Scroll through to relive the most talked-about Disney Channel scandals: