Disney has had a long and complicated relationship with all of their stars. Most of them try to follow the rules but there just seems to be so many that they can’t help but break one or two of them. Then there are those stars who are just so over the BS that they say, “screw it,” and start doing whatever they like – contract or not, role model or not. Here’s the problem: Disney ain’t nothing to play with. For years they have not hesitated to fire anyone who they believe (with or without evidence) is making them look bad. They are all about branding and because Disney is a channel focused on family-friendly (mostly children) programming, they have their integrity to uphold. They will go toe to toe with whoever embarrasses them, which seems to be a common occurrence these days. When a Disney star wants to shed their cookie-cutter image, it's like an unspoken rule that they go in guns blazing. Year after year, people get fired from Disney – sometimes without it being a media blitz. Some people are able to cover it up by saying it was mutual and others… well, they want the world to know what happened. If you are looking for a spot with Disney you may be in luck because some of these people need to be replaced ASAP!
15 Steve Whitmire
Steve Whitmire's name may not sound familiar to you but his voice sure will. He was the voice of Kermit the Frog for 27 years after which he was abruptly fired in 2017. Before you go in on us, yes, the Muppets are apart of Disney and they have been since they made the switch in 2004. Whitmire was fired reportedly due to how he conducted himself in the workplace. According to Disney, he was disrespectful with the way he spoke out on character issues and he was accused of “unacceptable business practices”. He states that they just didn’t want him to be Kermit anymore because of the type of scripts they were creating. “An instance of a note was over a script for the new ABC series, canceled last year, in which Kermit lied to his nephew, Robin, about his breakup with Miss Piggy. "I don't think Kermit would lie to him," Whitmire explained.” He’s kind of right.
14 Mitchel Musso
Mitchel Musso played the quirky Oliver on Hannah Montana. After the success of that show, Disney decided to place the star in another one of its shows that was up and coming. The show was called Pair of Kings. He was also a voice actor for Phineas and Ferb. However, his acting career came to a screeching halt in 2011 when he was pulled over by police. He supposedly failed to slow down at an intersection (that a cop was directing traffic at). The actor, who was 20 at the time, was given a breathalyzer and blew above the .08 limit. He spent a few hours in the drunk tank and was then released. Later, he was fired from Pair of Kings, the show went on without him and actively refused to mention him. He got to keep his gig on Phineas and Ferb though.
13 Megan Mullally
So Megan Mullally was never signed to a long-term Disney contract, but she was supposed to play an unknown character in Finding Nemo. Fans of Mullally know that she is most recognized for her high-pitched voice; the one that she made popular through Will and Grace. Disney supposedly wanted to capitalize on that voice, and they only wanted to work with Mullally if she used that voice in the film. Well, Mullally wasn’t interested in doing that and so she decided to decline. The problem is, she actually already started recording for this part and every time she would get in the booth, she was encouraged to raise her voice higher. When she flat out refused for the final time, she was fired. She stated that the voice was used “for boozy, sharp-tongued Karen Walker on Will & Grace. So why would Disney want to be associated with that?
12 Jake T. Austin
After his work on Wizard’s of Waverly Place, Jake T. Austin went on to act in a few more Disney productions one of which was on ABC Family, The Fosters. At the 2014 Teen Choice Awards, the actor approached the Candies gifting suite backstage. They denied him entry because the person working the door did not recognize him. The actor threw a tantrum that involved throwing projectiles, swearing, and screaming. And what would a tantrum truly be without a “don’t you know who I am?” He answered his own question with "I'm a presenter. Who the f**k are you?!". Disney wasn’t having it and he was fired soon after from The Fosters. He has since gotten work outside of Disney, he was in the 2017 Emoji Movie so, he isn’t too bad off.
11 Adrienne Bailon
Adrienne Bailon has made a name for herself as a TV host and Robert Kardashian’s ex-girlfriend, but before that, she was a Cheetah Girl. A Disney Channel music group that had a series of TV special and TV movies. The group was kid-friendly and cookie cutter, then Bailon went ahead and screwed it all up. Back in 2008 a series of nude photos were leaked of Bailon. Her or her boyfriend's computer was hacked and she was put on blast. Because this happened while the girls were in tour, Bailon was able to finish off her tour but her contract with Disney from then on ceased to exist. She was 25 at the time of the incident so many people speculated that this was a publicity stunt, so she could move on from Disney.
10 Teo Halm
Teo Halm was on the Boy Meets World revival/spin-off Girl Meets World. He played Corey and Topanga’s son, Elliot. Altogether, the couple was supposed to have 3 kids with the main focus being on their tween daughter, Riley. Unlike everyone else on this list, Halm was fired due to show changes and while he was rightfully sad, there were no hard feelings between him and Disney. A Disney rep stated, “Various creative changes are often made as a project transitions from pilot to series.” Having a big brother just did not work within the dynamic of this show. The great thing about being signed with Disney is if one thing falls through, they always have something else on the go. Fans may see him in his own show one day.
9 Tommy Kirk
No one would know Tommy Kirk unless they are well into their age. But, he was one of the first Disney Musketeers and he starred in the original Old Yeller, the one that’s safe to play in classrooms. He had a very successful career including things like The Swiss Family Robinson and The Shaggy Dog but as he got older and started coming into his own, Disney wasn’t having it. Kirk came out as a gay, and as a result, Disney thought he was box office poison. He was not only fired but essentially blacklisted. He had to start fresh and that included kicking the drug habit he picked up and leaving show business behind. Kirk is now retired from a very successful carpet and upholstery cleaning business and even got to participate in a Disney reunion because, well, times have changed.
8 Julie McCullough
Julie McCullough played Kirk Cameron’s girlfriend on the show Growing Pains but the relationship got a little awkward after she posed for Playboy. McCullough was a Playboy centerfold and on the show, she was set to marry Mike Seaver, but like his sister, Candance Cameron, Kirk has a strong faith. He was absolutely not having it and demanded a script change, insisting that his character Mike could not marry McCullough’s character, Julie. Needless to say, the wedding didn't happen and McCullough lost her job on the hit show. Years later when Cameron wrote his biography he stated that her role was never meant to be long-term. Her career never really recovered she openly blames Cameron for this, she stated that he never apologized to her. She now has a career as a stand-up comedian.
If you were Lizzie McGuire fan you may have noticed that Gordo and Lizzie’s best friend was MIA the last few episodes of the series with no explanation. Then the Lizzie McGuire Movie came out and it was a chance for the crew to get back together again but still no Miranda. At least in the film, they mentioned that she was on vacation with her family in Mexico. Behind the scenes, something went down that caused LaLaine to actually lose her job on Lizzie McGuire (and anything else Lizzie McGuire related). LaLaine was arrested for possession of meth in 2008. She was able to kind of keep it under wraps well enough, except she kept missing court dates, had a warrant out for her arrest and was basically forced to plead guilty of possession because of all the times she screwed up with the courts.
6 John Lasseter
If the name John Lasseter sounds familiar to you that’s because it should. He is the Academy Award-winning co-founder of Pixar. Before he was with Pixar, he was a young guy trying to make a name for himself in the animation world. There was no real reason for him being fired, only day-to-day workplace ups and downs. Like the stories he creates, his life took a twist when Pixar started doing better and more relatable films than Disney. Lasseter eventually allowed Disney to buy out Pixar and he stayed on in a creative role. While this was a happy middle, currently Lasseter is one of those celebrities caught up in the never-ending assault cycle that is Hollywood. He recently stepped down due to a “misstep” in his behavior.
5 Jake Paul
Many people know Jake Paul from his YouTube channel where he is known for being loud and obnoxious. It seems like in 2017 his behavior caught up with him. The YouTuber who had moved on to legitimate fame by starring in the Disney show Bizaardvark was fired. He involved himself in several incidents that Disney could not support in any way. He was apparently terrorizing his neighbors with his behavior. His address somehow got out and he had swarms of fans ransack his street and wreak havoc, not only on his property but his neighbors' as well. The kid is just an all-around mess. Paul now admits his behavior was uncalled for. He makes it seem as though the firing decision was mutual but, we all know what’s up.
4 Miley Cyrus
From the get-go, we will say Miley Cyrus was not fired from the Disney channel but she supposedly came mighty close to it. After playing the girl with a double life on Hannah Montana, Cyrus wanted to move onto roles that were bigger and better – or let’s say, more grown up. Can you blame her? It can get annoying constantly playing an age that you have completely surpassed in real life. There was supposedly a phase on the show were Cyrus and her dad Billy Ray Cyrus were being unruly in hopes of getting fired or ending the show altogether. They would show up to set late, bicker with production and staff and be downright unpleasant to be around. Both Cyrus’ have denied this because, wouldn’t you? But supposedly it is one of the reasons why the how ended when it did.
PewDiePie is one of (if not the) richest YouTube stars of all time. He essentially had it made because he was making a lot of money off of YouTube and he was signed with Disney for whatever they had him lined up for. But, it all came crashing down when he decided it was a brilliant idea to make anti-Semitic remarks in one of his videos early last year. He hired two men to hold up a sign that said, “Death to all Jews”. He made it seem like he was randomly seeing this sign and decided to tape it but it was later revealed that that wasn’t the case. He was even removed from YouTube’s premium accounts. The YouTuber's apology was not so much an apology. Instead, he "apologized" by more or less blaming everyone else but himself. He was apparently just “trying to show how crazy the modern world is”.
2 Chloe Grace Moretz
Miley Cyrus is the unforgettable voice of Penny in the Disney film Bolt, but did you know that Chloe Grace Moretz was supposed to be Penny? She got as far as recording more than half of the film, so what went wrong? Apparently, nothing. They just decided to go with a bigger star of their own at the time. There is no doubt that Cyrus was a way bigger star and she was already in the Disney family. Moretz did get to have a role in the film; they kept her voice as the younger Penny (wise choice). What does she care anyway? She still got paid and has gone on to have a great career in the industry. She has starred in films like Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising and Kick Ass one and two.
1 Bella Thorne
Bella Thorne will tell anyone who listens that she never wanted to be a part of Disney. In fact, she kind of regrets it, but at the time her family was on the verge of being homeless and she sucked it up to help them. This is noble. But as she grew up, the cracks began to show. She wanted to a bit more out there with her wardrobe (crop tops and short everything) – you see the problem? This isn’t the image Disney wants any of their stars to have. Her contract was terminated with Disney as soon as her show came to an end. She believes that by now, Disney hates her, but she could care less. The actress has moved on to be more… expressive and receive a lot of hate for it on social media.