Demi Lovato lashed out at Disney on her Twitter after some insensitive programming included an eating disorder joke. The former Disney star, who was admitted to rehab last year after struggling with bulimia, was enraged by a line jokingly delivered by a female character in the show Shake It Up: “I could eat you up, well, if I ate.” Demi’s tweets reflected the irresponsibility of Disney airing the joke, especially in light of her illness.
Demi later Tweeted, “And is it just me or are the actress’ getting THINNER AND THINNER… I miss the days of RAVEN, and LIZZIE MCGUIRE,” before finishing with the clear statement, “Dear Disney Channel, EATING DISORDERS ARE NOT SOMETHING TO JOKE ABOUT.” The Disney Channel, obviously keeping up with Demi’s Twitter feed, was quick to react, pulling the offending episode from the air and Tweeting, “we hear you & are pulling both episodes as quickly as possible & reevaluating them,” and, “It’s NEVER our intention to make light of eating disorders!”
The incident is yet another example of the power of artists to draw attention to social injustices and even to make serious changes. Demi speaking out against the joke puts her in the ranks with Lady Gaga (who was vocal in the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, and has taken her fight against bullying all the way to the White House), and Rihanna, who recently took to Twitter to defend against racist comments made in a Dutch magazine. We’d love to give Demi a high five for standing up for what she believes in and using her power to give a public voice to those who might be suffering through the same illness she has struggled with.
[Photo: Getty Images]