First, I think it’s bullshit that they were being robbed of choice or creativity. If they wanted too, they could have told Disney “NO”. Cole and I did this hundreds of times and we ended up all right. The only reason they didn’t is because, like many of the people on that channel, I think they fell for the allure of fame. Granted, Cole and I had been acting our entire lives, so we saw it as a means to an end (money making) rather than an opportunity to become successful.
It’s funny to see Sprouse talk about artistic integrity but then admit that to him the job was a means to an end rather than something involving anything achieving artistic integrity.
You always find people like this when someone pours his heart out. They discredit their assertions and, worse, take the side of the active oppressor, which in this case is Disney. Of the entire crop of Disney stars coming of age (Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, the Jonas brothers, Zac Efron, and the like) many have substance abuse issues and otherwise are fairly scarred from the experience of growing up megafamous. It indicates that there is a problem with what’s being done.
That the Sprouses (or at least a Sprouse) fail to recognize their unique situation and how uncomfortable a child might be in speaking up about artistic choices being made is unsurprising. After all, it seems as though Sprouse is attempting to defend his upbringing as fucked up because he turned out okay—and you do see this frequently with products of stressful and even abusive environments. But that doesn’t mean what Disney does to kids is ever okay.
To discredit their experience is ultimately harmful and extremely disrespectful to boot. So you had a good experience—don’t assume they did. And certainly don’t discount someone’s feelings.