It was announced Wednesday morning that yet another Disney star has completed time at a rehab facility. Selena Gomez, 21, spent two weeks at Meadows Rehab in January. While her people report she was there for emotional trauma, TMZ reports she was there for marijuana, alcohol, ambien, and an addiction to ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber. As great as I think Selena is, I was not surprised to hear the news.
Disney is home to troubled young adults. Shia LaBeouf, Mitchel Musso, Kirsten Storm, and Orlando Brown have all been arrested for DUIs. Lalaine, who played Miranda on Lizzie McGuire, was busted in 2008 for meth possession. Zac Efron and Demi Lovato have both spent time in rehab, while Miley Cyrus is just one hot mess.
So why does there seem to be so many Disney stars in the negative spotlight, instead of other young adults? The transition from child star to adulthood can be a difficult one. Many unfortunately turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the turmoil. This structure can be a reason for them to act out. Also, during a time when many teenagers are finding out their identity in the privacy of their own homes and friend circles, these teens are doing it in front of the nation and are being told their identity instead of being allowed to figure it out on their own.
Disney star, Joe Jonas has been reported to say that Disney makes puppets out of all the kids that act on their show. This could play a large part in why Nickelodeon stars have been able to transition without the same troubles. Miranda Cosgrove and Victoria Justice have both been able to stay out of the spotlight and lead normal lives, attending college and getting other jobs. The biggest Nickelodeon controversy to date was in 2007, when Jamie Lynn Spears got pregnant at age 16. She has done quite fine on her own being separated from the network and has become a role model to many young mothers.
I hope Disney can take a look at the way they treat their actors, remembering how young they are. They should encourage them to live as normal lives as possible and provide a transitional program or counseling for those that are in need.