Selena Gomez Reveals Disney’s Controlling Demands


It will, unfortunately, be no shocking revelation for Disney Channel fans to learn that many stars of classic Disney Channel shows like The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, That’s So Raven, Sonny With A Chance, Hannah Montana, or Wizards of Waverly Place had a hard time with their Disney roles offscreen.


Some Disney celebrities, such as Demi Lovato and Cole Sprouse, have openly spoken about the “trauma” of their childhood star and Disney Channel star experiences (not to mention some reportedly bizarre or inappropriate treatment on set). Others, like this Elvis star, have shared that they found their roles unfulfilling.

Wizards of Waverly Place and Princess Protection Program actress Selena Gomez has not touched on her difficult past with Disney quite as vehemently, but the actress did just recently speak to Vanity Fair and shed some light on at least one strange method that Disney used to control her personal life!

wizards of waverly place poster

Wizards of Waverly Place /Courtesy of Disney Channel

Apparently, while working for Disney (especially while starring in her main Disney role as Alex Russo the teen wizard in the Wizards of Waverly Place franchise), Selena Gomez wasn’t allowed to say “what the hell” — not just on set, but in public in general.

Like one That’s So Raven star, the Rare Beauty founder and Only Murders in the Building actress simply batted this limitation away by saying that it was because “[she] was on Disney”.

“I wasn’t a wild child by any means,” Selena Gomez explained, “but I was on Disney, so I had to make sure not to say ‘What the hell?’ in front of anyone.” Gomez added that the pressure to be a wholesome, happy individual in public was also worsened on her own.

wizards of waverly place

Selena Gomez, David Henrie, and Jake T. Austin as Alex Russo, Justin Russo, and Max Russo in ‘Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie’ Credit:

“It’s stuff that I was also putting on myself to be the best role model I could be. Now I think being the best role model is being honest, even with the ugly and complicated parts of yourself,” Gomez continued.

Gomez went on to admit that she actually sees her Disney days as a ‘trigger’ for unpleasant thoughts or feelings. ” I definitely feel free of it. Sometimes I get triggered,” she said to Vanity Fair. “It’s not that I’m ashamed of my past, it’s just that I’ve worked so hard to find my own way. I don’t want to be who I was. I want to be who I am.”

Gomez has been a prominent advocate for mental health, and has put a huge focus in her cosmetics company (Rare Beauty) on working to eliminate “unrealistic standards of perfection”. Rare Beauty is also reportedly focused on “raising $100 million over the next 10 years (including one percent of its annual sales) to help combat loneliness and give people access to mental health services through The Rare Impact Fund”.

Did you pay attention to the struggles of Disney actors offscreen, or did you prefer to simply watch their Disney Channel shows or Disney Channel Original Movies without looking into the actors behind the characters?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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