Keri Russell Says ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ Cut Girls Who Looked ‘Sexually Active’

CBS Photo Archive/Getty
CBS Photo Archive/Getty

Actress Keri Russell has opened up on the double standards on The All New Mickey Mouse Club, saying executives didn’t want “pregnant Mouseketeers” on the show, so girls were cut when they looked “like they were sexually active.”

Russell, 48, who first appeared on the show in 1991 when she was 15 and left at the age of 17, told Jesse Tyler Ferguson on his podcast Dinner’s on Me that she finds it “bizarre” that she was on the show alongside the likes of Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Ryan Gosling.

“Was there a cutoff age where, like, after you turned 17, you can no longer be on it?” Ferguson, 48, asked Russell.

“It’s usually girls who look like they were sexually active, which probably I was one of the first,” she said. “They’re like, ‘She’s out. Oh, she is out. That one is gone.’”

The Cocaine Bear star said it was not the same for her male co-stars.

“The boys stayed till they were, like, 19,” she said. “I was like, ‘By the way, I had sex with that person, so I know that they’ve had sex.’ For real.”

Russell did not reveal which of her co-stars she had slept with.

“You know, girls and sexuality [is complicated],” she said. “And by the way, me, I [had], like, a 12-year-old boy body. There’s nothing really sexy about me, but I think that was what [made Disney] nervous.”

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Reflecting on the stories coming out now about child actors who were abused by executives, Russell said she and her co-stars were able to get “out alive” because they outnumbered the adults on set.

“I think the creepiest part of kid acting is usually it’s one or two kids with all adults, and so that really accelerates the adultification of everything,” she said. “And for The Mickey Mouse Club, there were 19 of us. The adults were invisible to me, you know what I mean?”

The All New Mickey Mouse Club ran from 1989 to 1996 and was a new version of the original Mickey Mouse Club, which aired from 1955 to 1958 and starred Annette Funicello.

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