Who knew a show like Disney’s Shake it Up, about two young chicks trying to make it as backup dancers on a local Chicago TV show, could inspire such controversy? Disney’s tween programming might not be a favorite with all parents, but rarely is there an issue with its content being inappropriate. Recently, however, Shake it Up featured a joke that felt very personal to one of the network’s former stars.
Apparently, the Shake it Up joke, about a character's eating habits, lacked punch for actress Demi Lovato, who recently had to open up with her fans and the press about her eating disorder and bipolar problems after freaking out on tour with The Jonas Brothers. The episode of Shake it Up that offended the star featured a line making light of those with problems similar to the challenges the 19 year-old star has faced.
"I could just eat you up, well if I ate."
After seeing the episode, Lovato fired up her Twitter and sent out multiple messages to the Disney Channel’s PR people. Her various messages touched on eating disorders not being a laughing matter, on Disney stars getting thinner since the days of popular show Lizzie McGuire, and on her own personal experiences with her eating problems while working on the network.
In response, Disney stated it would pull the episode of Shake it Up from its schedule. According to US Weekly, Disney plans to pull another episode from a show called So Random!, as well.
The joke was absolutely in poor taste, but it wasn’t directed at or meant to make fun of Lovato herself. At some point people need to step back and not get so personally invested in what other people choose to joke about. We all have issues that hit close to home, but spending your entire life worrying about them is nothing more than a big time suck.