Post Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus landed in several controversies and found herself amidst severe media scrutiny following her radical shift from her persona in the Disney sitcom. Cyrus, who has been vocal about her love-hate relationship with the unanimously adored show, which elevated her to stardom, expressed her struggles after the show concluded, finding herself in an identity crisis.
Reflecting on Cyrus’ struggle with the media, who were hellbent on painting the pop star in a negative light, her godmother Dolly Parton explained that it was a Shirley Temple situation all over again.
The Media Was Punishing Miley Cyrus for Growing Up
Hollywood is unanimous with the despicable treatment of young child actors, and one of the most tragic examples of the industry’s depravity involves Shirley Temple. Rising to prominence at the mere age of 3, Shirley Temple was the biggest box-office draw of the ’30s, even though things behind the scenes were pretty deplorable for the young star. From being sexualized as a Preadolescent by certain media critics to being sent into a literal punishment box, a windowless booth for any sort of misbehavior on set, her tragedy remains heart-shattering.
While Miley Cyrus didn’t have to deal with much of Hollywood’s depravity, being branded by the Disney label at such a young age had an adverse effect on her, as it controlled her youth. And after she eventually found her true self, the Flower singer was met with overwhelming media and public outbursts, following her departure from the Disney label. Her Godmother, Dolly Parton, a renowned country star, explained that it was a repeating of Shirley Temple’s situation, as people were punishing Cyrus for growing up as they did with Temple.
She told the London Evening Standard (via The Guardian),
“We’re punishing her for growing up, just like we did to Shirley Temple,”
The analogy is quite fitting, as like Cyrus, Temple too parted ways with acting, which despite earning her stardom, took a toll on her childhood, and in her later years, the actor allowed herself to become herself.
Dolly Parton Never Advised Miley Cyrus for This Reason
Further reflecting on her involvement in her goddaughter’s career, Dolly Parton explained that she never questioned any of Miley Cyrus’ decisions, reasoning that she should be allowed to do her own thing. She said,
“If she needs my opinion on something I will surely give it and there have been times we’ve talked. But I would never dream of calling her and saying, ‘Well why are you doing this?’ or, ‘You shouldn’t do this or that.’”
It isn’t new for Hollywood child stars to have a hard time transitioning into adult stars, and this mostly has to do with the circumstances they end up growing, which robs them of being their true selves. Fortunately, in Miley Cyrus’ case, despite the media backlash, she stood her ground and let her true self shine.