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The Disney Effect Strikes Again: "Hannah Montana" Star Mitchell Musso Gets Arrested For Public Drunkenness And Theft

Jul 25, 2023

Former "Hannah Montana" actor Mitchell Musso was arrested this weekend and now faces multiple charges.

Why do so many child actors fall apart in adulthood? Former Disney Channel star Mitchell Musso, 32, gained popularity in the early 2000s when he played Oliver Oken in Hannah Montana and voiced the character Jeremy Johnson in Phineas and Ferb. When Musso was at the height of his career, he appeared in numerous shows and films alongside celebrities like Chuck Norris and Selena Gomez. In 2011, Musso was announced as the host of Disney Channel's hidden camera show, PrankStars.

That same year, Musso's profession went downhill. In October 2011, the then-20-year-old got pulled over in Burbank, California, and was later charged with a DUI suspicion. Sources informed TMZ that Musso failed his breathalyzer test, blowing "well above" the legal limit of 0.08% BAC. PrankStars was immediately canceled following the incident, and the actor was removed from other live-action appearances.

The network didn't cut Musso off entirely, though. He remained a voice actor for Phineas and Ferb and even appeared in 2020's Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe, according to his IMDB page.

TMZ reports that the Pair of Kings actor was arrested this weekend in Texas – over "public drunkenness" and "a bag of chips." Musso was sent to jail in Rockwall after officials responded to a call from a nearby hotel where witnesses alleged Musso was acting strange and "stole an item" from the market. How unfortunate – how does one go from Disney fame to stealing a bag of chips?

When the hotel staff confronted Musso, he reportedly became "verbally abusive" and walked away. Police found him outside the hotel and determined he was "under the influence, and found "outstanding traffic warrants" under his name. Musso faces charges ranging from public intoxication, theft, "expired registration, failure to display a driver's license, and violating a promise to appear notice," per TMZ. It seems he's been released on a $1,000 bond.

X users have noticed that there's a disturbing pattern among child stars, particularly those who were on Disney Channel. "Somebody need to look into Disney asap. This pattern is not normal," @NeonBear007 wrote in the comment section of Musso's arrest.

@LucaGuadanegro added, "all jokes aside, child actors should get lifetime therapy because how do you deal with being on disney channel and then needing to steal a bag of chips."

I've seen people call this phenomenon the "Disney Channel effect" and the "Disney Channel demise." Musso is obviously not a rare case: That's So Raven's Orlando Brown has been arrested for DUIs, domestic battery, and drug possession in the past. Lalaine Vergara-Paras, who played Miranda Sanchez in Lizzie McGuire, was once issued a whopping $50,000 bench warrant for her arrest after failing to appear for her court date. She was charged with felony possession of crystal meth. Shiah LaBeouf was 20 when he got arrested for trying to stab his neighbor, and it's been documented that he's been jailed at least five times for other incidences. Jake T. Austin from Wizards of Waverly Place was involved in a hit-and-run in 2013 and was charged a year later.

Of course, this spectacle of childhood celebs falling at the peak of their stardom isn't unique to Disney Channel. Nickelodeon has its fair share of traumatized child stars, most notably Amanda Bynes, who was placed on psychiatric hold this year after being spotted roaming LA streets naked and alone.

Most celebrities who started off at a young age were often denied a childhood and exploited by their parents. This long abuse could lead to addictions and mental health struggles as they age. Mara Wilson, who played Matilda, was one of the few young actresses with supportive parents who protected her from industry sharks. "I chose to start acting when I was 5. It was my decision, and my parents tried their hardest to discourage me. When I insisted, they allowed me to act but were always very protective of me," she wrote in an old Cracked article. No matter how much a child star accomplishes, the significance of their achievements will all have been for nothing if they lack the love and support from their family.

Wilson continued, "I saw many child actors who did not have that, and they were all miserable. Kids whose parents pushed them into acting often grow up to resent them. They never had a choice, and worse, they never had the chance to be a kid."

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