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Bella Thorne Says Bikini Backlash at 14 Almost Led to Disney Firing Her

Bella Thorne Says Bikini Backlash at 14 Almost Led to Disney Firing Her

Bella Thorne
Debby Wong/Shutterstock

She recently shared what the company had to say about the incident.


Disney may not have come under quite as much scrutiny as Nickelodeon over the years in regards to its young stars, but the company has still been involved in its fair share of controversies.

Bella Thorne recently opened up about a couple of her uncomfortable experiences while working with the Mouse as a teen, seemingly reinforcing Disney’s reputation for expecting its young actors to maintain a squeaky clean image during that era.

“One time I almost got fired off the Disney Channel because I was 14, and I wore a two-piece on the beach,” the actress told Emily Ratajkowski during a recent episode of the latter’s High Low With EmRata podcast. “And 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.”

Long story short, a fan wound up taking a photo of Thorne in the outfit, it went viral, and there was apparently enough backlash that the folks at Disney considered firing her, but wound up giving her a lecture instead.

“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 she goes out in boy shorts and a loose t-shirt next time she’s at the beach,’” she recalled.

And Ratajkowski wisely called out the dichotomy of the incident, noting that the people calling for Thorne to be fired were “not only…sexualizing you, they were also blaming you,” drawing attention to the larger societal issue of adults sexualizing teen girls and treating the female body in general as an innately sexual — and thus inappropriate — thing.

Still, while the folks at Disney didn’t fire Thorne, it also doesn’t sound like they had her back or avoided drawing the same conclusions themselves, prompting further discussion between the two actresses about the opposing expectations of young girls, which can be viewed in part below.

What is Bella Thorne's real name?

Thorne was born Annabella Avery Thorne.

How old was Bella Thorne when she played Cece on Shake It Up?

Thorne was on Disney's Shake It Up from 2010 to 2013, ages 12 to 16.

Is Bella Thorne in a relationship?

Thorne has been dating Mark Emms since September 2022.

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