Former Disney star Alyson Stoner has levied a big accusation against Disney. The 29-year-old former child star appeared on Disney Channel shows like “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” “That’s So Raven,” and “Phineas and Ferb,” as well as the Disney Channel film “Camp Rock.”
Stoner recently spoke with the “I’m Literally Screaming With Spencewuah” podcast and said that they were fired from Disney after they came out as queer. In a 2018 essay in Teen Vogue, Stoner, who was born female but identifies with they/them pronouns, said, “men, women and people who identify in other ways,” adding, “I can love people of every gender identity and expression. It is the soul that captivates me.”
Stoner told the podcast that they were advised not to write the essay but that they didn’t feel right continuing to hide their girlfriend. Kevin Jonas, Stoner’s manager, warned them that the essay could affect their hireability. Stoner, however, remained steadfast saying “it didn’t feel good for her [Stoner’s girlfriend], it didn’t feel fair. And even though there were other like pressures and considerations for me to be public, I felt like, ‘OK, I wanna … I wanna do this.'”
Shortly after the essay was published, Disney fired her. Stoner claiminglaims the reason given by Disney was that she was “not safe to be around children.” They declined to say what production they were working on at the time of the firing. Disney was asked for comment but did not respond. This is a surprising allegation given Disney’s long-standing allyship with the LGBTQIA+ community.
Despite allegedly being fired over coming out, Stoner has no regrets stating that there was a “beauty” in it that far outweighed the consequences. Stoner went on to say that coming out was “intimidating and also liberating.”