One of Disney’s earliest child stars, Cole Sprouse, is now accusing Disney of sexualizing its young female actresses and causing them mental strife.
Along with his twin brother Dylan, Cole Sprouse starred in nearly a decade of Disney TV from 2005 to 2011 entitled “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” But, Sprouse now says that he had to take a break from acting for a while because of the mental distress he suffered at Disney.
Sprouse recently told the New York Times that he has a “very complicated relationship to celebrity culture.”
“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 said. “When I returned, I reminded myself that I do very much love the art of acting. But I still have a very complicated relationship to celebrity culture.”
Sprouse went on to say that he was congratulated by people for “making it out of Disney alive.” But he said neither he, nor the young female actresses he worked with as Disney came out unscathed.
“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,” he said of the young girls he worked with.
He continued saying that he female co-workers had much “trauma” to work through after working at Disney.
He added that, “every single person going through that trauma has a unique experience. 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 [they] adequately comprehend … the humanity of that experience and what it takes to recover,” he insisted.
Sprouse is currently starring in the TV series Riverdale, and appears in the HBOMax movie Moonshot.
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