Bella Thorne Says Disney Channel Was Pressured To Fire Her For Wearing A Bikini At The Beach

It’s not uncommon for well-known actors to have gotten their career starts on children’s series, especially through networks such as Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. Quite a few current household names went that route, such as Euphoria and Spider-Man trilogy star Zendaya, whose big break on Disney's Shake It Up happened alongside co-star Bella Thorne. Though, according to Thorne, it wasn’t all peachy, as she recently revealed she nearly got fired at one point for being seen in a two-piece bathing suit while on the beach.

On a new episode of Emily Ratajkowski’s podcast, High Low with EmRata, the former Disney Channel star opened up about being in the industry at a young age, which definitely had some uncomfortable lows to go along with the highs. And because of her public image, she was apparently advised against engaging in non-controversial activities that other girls her age were doing, such as wearing a bikini at 14, which allegedly almost cost the actress her job playing Shake It Off's CeCe. In her words:

One time I almost got fired off the Disney Channel because I was 14 and I wore a two-piece on the beach. This stylist that I was hanging out with put this chain on me that’s like a body chain, I don’t know. I don’t care. There was a fan, they got a photo of me on the beach, I almost got fired. . . . Blaming me and putting Disney under pressure to fire me, and obviously, Disney didn’t fire me, but also they were like, 'Hey, we’re getting a lot of heat for this. Everyone’s getting heat for this because you’re in a bikini on the beach. So, she needs to make sure that she goes out in board shorts and a loose T-shirt next time she’s at the beach.'

Having to keep up a certain image to fit with a job is definitely stressful, especially at an age where you just want to fit in with peers away from TV sound stages. It sounds like the complaints from the powers that be may have been coming from execs other than just those at Disney, but regardless of who was doing the complaining, the network apparently cracked down on those types of images. Bella Thorne has talked about being called a “slut” and other such shame-inspiring names, but she’s able to now be who she wants to be.

This definitely isn’t the first time that Bella Thorne has opened up about her Disney days. In 2021, the American Horror Stories actress discussed what it was like being pitted against Zendaya on Shake It Up in a toxic way, and how they only started to gradually get close during the second and third seasons of the series because of it. Thorne still has nothing but love for the Emmy winner, knowing that there’s no good that comes from pitting talented and successful women against each other.

Meanwhile, Thorne isn’t the only former Disney star as of late to open up about the hardships about being a child star. Selena Gomez revealed what upset her about being labeled a "Disney kid" following the end of Wizards of Waverly Place, and how it kept her from getting other work. While things may look great on camera, it seems like not everything was great behind-the-scenes, but you just have to work through it.

Bella Thorne is currently far from those Disney days, as some of her fashion choices in 2022 have proven, and she’s still hoping for a role in Deadpool 3. One assumes if she lands a role in that Marvel flick, though, that she won't be harangued for her beachware, and that she won't be forced into a faux MCU rivalry with Zendaya. 

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.