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Dark Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Hannah Montana'

Updated November 18, 2020 2.9m views14 items

Young, envious viewers tend to worship child stars, but it's no secret that the lives of impressionable actors often end up dramatically and adversely affected. While the Disney Channel had many great shows, they have also seen their fair share of controversy, usually when their stars inevitably grew up and sometimes turned on the company - which is only one element of the crazy Hannah Montana stories that have surfaced since Miley left the series for real pop stardom in 2011.

What happened to the cast of Hannah Montana? Sure, we watched the aftermath of Miley's experiences as a child star, but there's a lot that happened to her behind the scenes of Hannah Montana that offers some insights on her trying transition into adulthood. There were also a lot of people on the show who stood much further from the limelight (ones we may not have heard as much about) who had struggled in various ways.

Here are some dark stories of Hannah Montana cast members who might have avoided these problems had they steered clear of Disney stardom.

  • There Was A Strain In The Familial Relationships

    Miley and her father Billy Ray had something of a falling out after Hannah Montana. There was a public and strange scandal in which Miley appeared to accuse her father of cheating on her mother, which she did via Twitter. She sent a tweet reading:

    @billyraycyrus since you won't reply to my texts I'm giving you an hour to tell the truth or ill tell it for you.

    Attached was a picture of Miley herself posing with an unnamed woman, the insinuation being that Billy Ray had had an affair with this woman. The tweet disappeared just a few minutes later and Miley posted something suggesting her account had been hacked. However, the damage had been done, and both the tweet and picture are part of the public record.

  • Moisés Arias Took A Picture In Bed With A 13-Year-Old Willow Smith

    Moisés Arias, another Hannah Montana alum, saw controversy in 2014 after posting a picture of himself on Instagram in which he was shirtless and in bed with Willow Smith, who was 13 at the time. Arias was 20. This was scandalous given the age discrepancy, but both young actors claimed it was innocent.

    However, there wasn't much outcry from the Smith family at the time.

  • In Many Ways It Sounds Like The Show Destroyed Billy Ray Himself

    In the GQ interview, Billy Ray was adamant about the fact he had "never made a dime off of Miley." His protestations sounded defensive, but what bothered him more was watching "the train [go] off the track" in terms of Miley's public life.

    In addition, he felt like he was made a scapegoat for everything she did - not by Miley, but her managers, who he claimed would always publicly blame him for her outlandish behavior at the time:

    Her people, or as they say in today's news, her handlers, every time they'd put me... "Somebody's shooting at Miley! Put the old man up there!" Well, I took it, because I'm her daddy, and that's what daddies do. "Okay, nail me to the cross, I'll take it..." All those people around, they used me every time. It became so obvious that, man, no matter what happens, they're going to put you up there and let you take the bullet.

    In 2011, he discussed what the show had done to his daughter:

    I've done some stupid crap - I do stupid crap. We all do. But it's different when you sit back and you see it happening to your little girl. I feel like I got to try. It's my daughter. And some of these handlers are perhaps more interested in handling Miley's money than her safety and her career.

  • A Lot Of People Felt They Were Underpaid

    Miley herself felt she was underpaid for her work on Hannah Montana, claiming to Elle she may have been making the least of all the cast, as she and her family were too ignorant about Hollywood to realize the exploitation. The show's co-creators may have even had a stronger claim to inadequate compensation. 

    Creators Michael Poryes, Barry O'Brien, and Richard Correll all filed complaints against Disney, claiming a breach of contract. O'Brien and Correll filed separately from Poryes, and that turned out to be an issue, as Disney actually settled with Poryes while the arbitrator sided with Disney in the case of the first two.

    The Hollywood Reporter offered an in-depth analysis of the two cases, making a convincing argument that Poryes might have lucked out by getting an arbitrator who was more inclined to side against the mega-corporation.