Former Disney Channel Star Reveals They Got Fired After Coming Out As Queer

Former Disney Channel star Alyson Stoner reveals that they were fired after coming out as queer. Stoner was a prominent figure for Disney and has been starring in Disney productions since joining Mike’s Super Short Show in 2001. From there, they rose to take prominent roles both for Disney and other studios. Some of their other major productions included Cheaper by the Dozen, Step Up, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Phineas and Ferb, Camp Rock, and Young Justice.

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In a recent interview with the I’m Literally Screaming with Specewuah podcast (via Huffpost), Stoner explained that coming out as queer is the reason that Disney eventually cut ties with them. The 29-year-old actor was a prominent Disney star, playing Lydia in the animated Disney production Milo Murphy’s Law at the time of their firing and recalling how they turned to the father of another iconic Disney figure for guidance. Check out their quote below:

I did end up getting fired from a children’s show because they felt that I was unsafe, now that they knew I was queer, to be around kids. So, there was definitely discrimination there, but the beauty far outweighs the hate comments and death threats. [I spoke to my managers and Kevin Jonas Sr. and] he was supportive and helpful in me understanding that there are risks if I do this [and] it’s totally my choice, but it could affect not only people’s perceptions but hireability for jobs.


Disney Still Has A Long Way To Go

Disney Channel 2000s Logo

It has only been four years since Stoner was allegedly fired from the Disney Channel, which is a sign that Disney likely still needs to work on increasing representation for the LGBTQ+ community. That a fairly prominent star claims that they were deemed “unsafe…to be around kids” just for being queer is a serious issue that should be addressed internally. While Disney has been including more gay characters in its films, it should not be immune from criticism for its failures.

Despite these efforts, though, Disney has seen much pushback from the LGBTQ+ community to deliver more meaningful representations of themselves in their various releases. Some of their most recent efforts included a same-sex kiss and marriage in Pixar’s Lightyear, Disney’s first openly LGBTQ+ lead character in Strange World and a non-binary character in Pixar’s Elemental. Not only were these seen as minor steps forward, but the collective box office failures of the three have created concerns of Disney ending their representation efforts.

Related: Does Lightyear’s Failure End Disney’s LGBTQ+ Plans?

Disney has proven to be willing to take a stand against Florida governor and 2024 Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis’ HB 1557 — also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. If the company can stand against a major politician in support of LGBTQ+ rights, it is capable of doing the same in theaters. That being said, Stoner’s story of their unceremonious firing is a sign that Disney and Disney Channel still have a long way to go before the entity can truly be considered a genuine ally.

Source: I’m Literally Screaming with Specewuah (via Huffpost)

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