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    15 Former Child Stars Who Called Out Hollywood For The Way They Were Treated

    "I wish I was living now as a younger person. I probably wouldn’t have so many mental issues." —Raven-Symoné

    A lot of big names in Hollywood got their start fairly young. However, the entertainment industry is a notoriously difficult place for kids to be, and many former child stars have spoken out about the ways they were treated in their youth.

    Here are 15 times celebs called out Hollywood for the way they were treated as children:

    Some entries include topics of sexual assault.

    1. Miley Cyrus said it was "drilled into [her] head" that no one cared about her when she wasn't wearing the Hannah Montana wig.

    "Malibu" singer
    Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

    She told Rolling Stone, "I felt like I was never going to amount to the success of Hannah Montana."

    2. Drew Barrymore said that, when her acting career turned her into her family's breadwinner, the parent-child dynamic between her and her mother was "completely reversed," which significantly strained their relationship.

    actor who played Gertie in "ET"
    Jason Kempin / Via Getty

    On the podcast 4D with Demi Lovato, she said, "I, for 20 or 30 years, felt toxic inside that I had to keep separating myself from her to gain autonomy and a structure and boundaries...and learn everything on my own. I had to completely relearn what [the] parent-child dynamic is. I couldn't have a relationship with her until I figured that out for myself, and could come to her as a woman."

    However, Drew also added that she and her mother were in "a really good place," but she won't allow her own daughters to pursue acting until they're 18.

    3. Todd Bridges said he asked to be written out of the episode of Diff'rent Strokes that dealt with molestation because "I had myself gone through that."

    Gregg Deguire / WireImage / Via Getty

    In an interview for the documentary An Open Secret, he said, "Watching it happen on the show, it was like reliving it all over again."

    Later, he told Oprah, "The reason why I [opened up about my experience] was I thought that it would help somebody. In actuality, it helped a lot of people."

    4. Soleil Moon Frye said that, after Punky Brewster ended, she was only offered "tits and ass roles" because she had "developed very quickly."

    actor who starred on "Punky Brewster"
    Matt Winkelmeyer / Via Getty

    She told People, "No one is in charge of how their body develops, but there was so much shame about it."

    5. Demi Lovato said that as a teenager, they were raped by another Disney Channel actor, who was never held accountable, and they "had to see this person all the time."

    "Confident" singer
    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    In their documentary Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, they said, "My 'Me Too' story is me telling somebody that someone did this to me and they never got in trouble for it."

    6. Joe Jonas said that, because of their Disney contracts and the promise rings they publicly wore, the Jonas Brothers had to "sugarcoat" a lot of things.

    "Burnin' Up" singer
    Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

    In an essay for Vulture, he said, "If a lyric was slightly sexual, someone at the record company would tell us we had to change it. It could be the most innocent reference, like 'I’m alone in a room with you,' and it would have to go. It felt like we couldn’t be creative, so we stopped listening to them and just started handing shit in."

    7. As a teenager, Raven-Symoné said she was told that she was "too big to be doing an hour and a half concert."

    "That's So Raven" star
    Amy Sussman / Getty Images

    She told People, "I wish I was living now as a younger person. I probably wouldn’t have so many mental issues."

    8. Zayn Malik said that during his time in One Direction, he wasn't allowed to grow a beard because he looked older than the other members.

    "Pillow Talk" singer
    Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    He told Complex, "Eventually, when I got older, I rebelled against it and decided to keep it anyway."

    9. Jennette McCurdy said she developed an eating disorder when she was 11 because she "quickly learned that remaining physically small for [her] age meant [she] had a better chance of booking more roles."

    actor who played Sam on "iCarly"
    Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

    In an essay for HuffPost, she said, "My disordered eating was reinforced wherever I went and by whomever I saw. I’d lose weight and go to a wardrobe fitting where the stylist would look at me excitedly, wag a pair of double zero jeans, and happily singsong, 'Down a size!'"

    10. Cole Sprouse said he was "raised in such an insular environment that [he forgot] what real human experience or boots-on-the-ground actually looks like."

    actor who played Cody Martin on "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody"
    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    He told Vice, "When you’re a child actor, you’re a minor, and so a lot of the larger business decisions that are controlling your career are outside your agency."

    11. Mara Wilson said she was given "sports bras that were...meant to bind [her] chest" when she went through puberty while shooting Thomas and the Magic Railroad.

    Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

    She told NPR, "I felt completely humiliated. ... When you're in middle school, when you're a preteen, you always worry: Is everybody talking about me behind my back? And everybody was."

    12. Billie Eilish said she was "very angry and not grateful" about the way fame prevented her from being able to go to the store or the mall.

    "Bad Guy" singer
    Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Via Getty

    She told Rolling Stone, "I was a kid, and I wanted to do kid shit."

    13. Mark-Paul Gosselaar said that he was told he had to "act like an adult" on set when he was a teenager.

    actor who played Zack Morris on "Saved by the Bell"
    Steve Granitz / WireImage / Via Getty

    In Soleil Moon Frye's documentary, Kid 90, he said, "The director was saying, 'The minute you walk through these double doors leading onto the stage, you're no longer a child anymore, you're an adult.'"

    14. Melissa Joan Hart said that, when her mother asked costar William Hurt to speak to her 9-year-old daughter in a way a child could understand, he replied, “No, if she wants to play with the big boys, she has to learn how to speak like the big boys.”

    actor who starred on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch"
    Randy Shropshire / Getty Images for Lifetime

    Melissa told Glamour, "I get that he didn’t want to dumb it down for me, and I don’t know if he was talking to me about politics or the craft of acting, but I was just trying to hold on to these conversations without knowing how to respond. So I learned to talk to kids like they’re kids." 

    15. And finally, Corey Feldman spoke out about the pedophilia he and his late friend Corey Haim suffered from as child actors and said, "If I were to go and mention anybody’s name, I would be the one that would be in legal problems, and I’m the one that would be sued."

    star of "The Two Coreys"
    Jerod Harris / Getty Images

    He told the Hollywood Reporter, "People are frustrated, people are angry, they want to know how is this happening and they want answers and they turn to me and they say, 'Why don’t you be a man and stand up and name names and stop hiding and being a coward?' I have to deal with that, which is not pleasant, especially given the fact that I would love to name names."

    If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE, which routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search your local center here.

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