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(Video Credit: Access)
Actor Cole Sprouse is opening up about being a childhood actor on the Disney Channel, asserting that female stars are “heavily sexualized” by the network from an early age while calling the experience of fame a form of “trauma” that stars have to recover from.
Sprouse and his twin brother Dylan have grown up acting, starring in numerous projects in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Shows include “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” on the Disney Channel, “Big Daddy,” “Grace Under Fire,” and “Friends.” Cole Sprouse also stars in “Riverdale” on CW.
“I started acting when I was so young that I hadn’t actually attempted, as an adult, to think about if I really enjoyed performance,” Sprouse, 29, stated.
“When I returned, I reminded myself that I do very much love the art of acting,” he noted referring to having left it to attend New York University to study archaeology. “But I still have a very complicated relationship with celebrity culture,”
“My brother and I used to get quite a bit of, ‘Oh, you made it out! Oh, you’re unscathed!’ No. The young women on the channel we were on [Disney Channel] were so heavily sexualized from such an earlier age than my brother and I that there’s absolutely no way that we could compare our experiences,” Sprouse recounted in an interview with The New York Times.
THIS! Cole Sprouse talking about fame pic.twitter.com/Sz12EQQoPt
— ♡ (@unclesprouse) April 4, 2022
When asked if it was possible for child actors to come out of Hollywood “unscathed,” Sprouse became passionate in his defense of child stars.
“Every single person going through that trauma has a unique experience,” he commented. “When we talk about child stars going nuts, what we’re not actually talking about is how fame is a trauma.”
“So I’m violently defensive against people who mock some of the young women who were on the channel when I was younger because I don’t feel like it adequately comprehends the humanity of that experience and what it takes to recover,” Sprouse explained.
“To be quite honest, as I have now gone through a second big round of this fame game as an adult, I’ve noticed the same psychological effects that fame yields upon a group of young adults as I did when I was a child,” he added. “I just think people have an easier time hiding it when they’re older.”
Disney has found itself in recent years at the center of bad publicity and police investigations, especially in connection to the sexualization of young children. In March, a number of Disney employees were swept up in a human trafficking investigation.
(Video Credit: WFLA News Channel 8)
More bad publicity was incoming as Disney took a stance against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Parental Rights in Education” bill, which prohibits the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity in Kindergarten through third grade. Now, the company is being appropriately haunted by the term “groomer.”
The sexualization of young Disney Channel stars is not just part of the high price of fame, it is now linked to the Disney brand.
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