At the young age of 20 years old, film and TV star Cameron Boyce died after a seizure that was linked to a more serious medical condition he had been battling. While there was an outpouring of reactions and tributes from Boyce’s contemporaries and friends, one notable absence was that of his co-star on the hit Disney Channel show Jessie, Debby Ryan.
In the wake of Boyce’s passing, this led to many of his fans bringing up his passing and asking why/when Ryan would comment on his untimely death. Which has now led to the star of the controversial Netflix show Insatiable shutting down comments on her four most recent Instagram posts.
What made the radio silence from Debby Ryan stand out even more was the fact that not only had Cameron Boyce’s Descendants co-stars already made their statements mourning his passing, but quite a few of his on-screen family from Jessie had as well. Though if you knew where to look, you saw that his former in show babysitter has seemingly addressed the passing in her own way.
In lieu of any extended comment on Boyce’s passing, Debby Ryan instead shared a video of his acceptance speech from last year’s Thirst Gala. More specifically, the following statement was clipped and shared as an Instagram story on Ryan’s feed:
It’s crazy. We can tweet whatever we want and we can use social media and Instagram and make the world a better place instead of a worse one, which so many people use it for. But we need to use our resources and what we have. We’re all in here wearing suits. We need to use what we have to make the world a better place for other people, other people, people who need us!
Accepting the highest award for influencers that bring attention to the global water crisis, Cameron Boyce encouraged people to leave behind legacies that were bigger than themselves. While Debby Ryan herself may not have said anything specifically about her Jessie co-star’s passing, as recounted in Heavy’s timeline of events, she’s still left a fitting tribute to a young man who contributed to something that was just that.
As a friend, that’s a pretty powerful tribute, though that doesn’t mean that Ryan won’t say anything in the future. Grief strikes us all in different ways, and her sorrow may not be at a level where she can begin to construct just how to say goodbye. Not to mention, with a second season of Insatiable on the table, her schedule may not give her much time to get to that place any quicker.
The fact that Debby Ryan posted that particular clip of her former co-star almost feels like it says two things, the first being that the medium of social media is what we make it, and we can make it a positive experience. Second, and more importantly, Ryan would seem to rather let her departed co-star speak in his own words, while she tries to gather hers.
We wish all of the best to Cameron Boyce’s family and friends in this time of deep sorrow, and as soon as we hear anything further on this issue, we’ll report back with an update. Meanwhile, you can see one of Boyce’s last performances posthumously, as he completed work on the Disney Channel sequel Descendants 3, which should premiere on August 2nd.