Recently, old clip of Justin Bieber has resurfaced showing multiple instances where the pop star was asked incredibly inappropriate questions throughout his teenage years. Several times he expressed discomfort and said he felt “violated”.
This has started a wider debate as people reflect and re-examine the times when child and teen stars have been mistreated by the industry, interviewers, press and even fans. Here are some cases:
Britney Spears was 17 years old when Ivo Niehe asked her whether or not she had breast implants in a TV interview.
Marcus Scribner was 18 when it was The Wendy Williams Show and asked him if he was a virgin.
A NSFW subreddit claimed it would open on Millie Bobby Brown’s 18th birthday and counted down the days to it.
The group had over 6000 members, and one Reddit user explained that the subreddit was “for her to post sexual pictures of herself on the day she turns 18. It’s a sub dedicated exclusively to sexual pictures of Millie, who is currently a minor, until next week, but you already have a sub ready with thousands of subscribers.”
There was also a media countdown to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s 18th birthday because they would be “legal adults”.
In a Reddit thread on the Millie Bobby Brown Reddit group, someone recalled that for Mary-Kate and Ashley, “the radio talk show hosts had a countdown for it, there were TV spots for it.”
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were 17 when Oprah asked them what size they were during a conversation about their rumored eating disorders.
Brooke Shields was 12 years old when she played a sex worker Beautiful baby, which included a nude scene of her. Her mother, who was her manager at the time, faced a lot of backlash for letting her take on the role.
When Brooke went to the Cannes Film Festival, the film caused an uproar and someone trying to cut Brooke’s hair with scissors had to be restrained. He expressed how traumatic this was, saying: “I’ve never seen such frenzy before. It was so obscene yet absurd. I couldn’t relate to that… the amount of attention was really scary.”
Lindsay Lohan was 17 when she hosted SNL and they did an ensemble Harry Potter sketch focusing on characters looking at her breasts.
Britney Spears was 19 years old when SNL premiered in 2000, and many of the sketches included sexual jokes about her.
Finn Wolfhard shared that when he was just 13 years old a group of willing, adults Stranger Things Fans followed him back to his apartment when he was filming The.
“Stranger Things it had just come out and I was alone. As I walked faster, they walked faster,” he recalls. “By the time I got to the door, it was starting to smell a bit. All of a sudden, they’re like, ‘Hey, man, can we take a selfie?'”
“And I said, ‘No, you can’t take selfies! How about you don’t follow the kids?”
During Ariel Winter’s career, she said her mother dressed her in clothes that sexualized her.
Ariel claimed her mom put her in “the littlest miniskirts, sailor suits, fancy things, the shortest dresses you’ve ever seen. People thought I was 24 when I was 12. If there was going to be a nude scene at that age, my mother would say a thousand percent yes.”
Shirley Temple’s mother, Gertrude, put her daughter into the industry when she was a toddler. Her first role was in War Babies at the age of 3 years. It was a sexually suggestive short where children play adults, and in her autobiography, Shirley described it as “a cynical exploitation of our childhood innocence”.
In her memoir, she also recounted several instances of sexual harassment by studio heads during her childhood career.
Alyson Stoner wrote in an essay that at age 6, she had to audition for scenes depicting sexual violence and that it took an emotional toll.
She added that many companies made her work more hours than is legal for a minor, that the conditions imposed were inappropriate and dangerous, and that she also experienced sexual harassment.
Joe Jonas said that the Jonas Brothers’ level of celebrity was scary at times.
He recounted a meet and greet in Spain where 100,000 people showed up and chased them through the mall, and another incident in South America where a hotel staff member sneaked their child into their room.
In Jennette McCurdy’s memoir, she writes about how when she was a child star on Nickelodeon, someone referred to as “The Creator” encouraged her to drink alcohol at dinner.
She refused and he told her about the children iCarly it was very healthy and that the Victorious the cast drank often. Jennette says she took a sip to thank him and he made her wear his coat and then massaged her shoulders which made her uncomfortable.
And Bhad Bhabie – aka Danielle Bregoli – expressed dismay at how such a large, older audience became subscribers to her Onlyfans when she launched her account just days after her 18th birthday.
She claimed to have earned over a million dollars in her first night on the platform and said she earned $52 million in the first year of her account’s launch. When asked if he thought people who signed up immediately should be in jail, he agreed.