Maybe the Suite Life wasn't so sweet after all. As Amanda Bynes continues to make headlines, another former child star Dylan Sprouse, has opened up about why he and his twin brother, Cole parted ways with the Disney Channel after five years of starring on their hit shows, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and The Suite Life on Deck.
When the Sprouses first arrived in Hollywood, they immediately drew comparisons to twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. After starring in different film roles, including 1999's Big Daddy alongside Adam Sandler, the Sprouses were a stronghold on the teen scene, once dubbed "the most successful twins" since the former Full House stars. From 2005 to 2008, they even had a licensing agreement with Dualstar Entertainment, which is owned by the Olsen siblings.
But according to Dylan, 20, life in the limelight and on Disney Channel was not all that magical. Now attending New York University with his brother, he says in a new YouTube video via Salon.com (it's since been made private), that the siblings severed ties with the network because, he claims, Disney tried to steal their spin-off show idea, and denied them producer credits on the new show.
In the video, Dylan says he and Cole came up with an idea for the show, suggesting that their characters, Zach and Cody, would return to the Tipton Hotel in Boston and live with their single mother. The storyline then introduced a new younger, male character who would move into the hotel with his single dad, and the twins would mentor him, showing them their ways.
The only problem with their spin-off idea? Dylan recalls that Disney gave them a straight-up "no."
"When we had pitched our idea, it was kind of this situation where they had almost laughed in our faces," Dylan says.
A year later, however, the actor claimed that Disney executives came back to them with essentially the same exact storyline. "They’re like, 'Well, we said no to your idea, let us pitch you our idea that we came up with for the next season … Zack goes to work in Miami with Cody, they go to this hotel, and there’s this kid who has a single dad and you guys raise him up like he’s this prodigy of yours."
Dylan says the meeting, where producers also told them they wouldn't get producer credits, shocked them both.
"Cole and I turned to each other and we basically laughed in their faces and walked out," he said. "And that was the last meeting we had with Disney."
Now taking a break from the spotlight, Dylan is studying video game design with a double major in poetry and studio art at NYU.
Tweeting on Thursday, May 30, Cole seemed to mock the Disney Channel, writing, "Are @dylansprouse and I the only Disney stars that didn't pursue a singing career? #StillTimeForOurOompaBand #Sprouse."
During their time on the Suite Life in 2010, they were the fourth highest paid child actors in the world.