By Tom Comi
Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana brought smiles to children and parents around the world, but it apparently destroyed the very family that made it so popular. At least that’s the theory of Billy Ray Cyrus, who co-starred in the show with daughter Miley Cyrus and — in a very ironic twist — is best known for the 1982 mega-hit song “Achy Breaky Heart.”
It’s hard to believe that a kiddy show full of laughs and music could lead to a topic so heavy, but Billy Ray said the program that premiered in 2006 was the beginning of the end for his marriage and possibly his relationship with Miley.
“Oh, it’s huge, it destroyed my family,” he told GQ magazine recently. “I’ll tell you right now, the damn show destroyed my family.”
When asked by the GQ reporter if he wished Hannah Montana had never happened, he replied: “I hate to say it, but yes, I do. Yeah. I’d take it back in a second. For my family to be here and just be everybody okay, safe and sound and happy and normal, would have been fantastic. Heck, yeah. I’d erase it all in a second if I could.”
We try to keep things positive around here, so we will focus on the series that brought joy to many people instead of dwelling on the few it didn’t. We will also stay away from all of the controversy surrounding Miley over the past year or so, but suffice it to say that her father (who reportedly has had little contact with his daughter) probably does have reason to be concerned.
Off-set drama aside, Hannah Montana was arguably one of the best children’s programs on all of television. It followed the double life of character Miley Stewart, who was a normal teenager by day and megastar singer Hannah Montana by night. The idea that her classmates never figured it out despite her only disguise being a blonde wig made the show fun, because it allowed viewers to to feel like they were in on the charade.
And as much as people of all ages were drawn to the performer on the show, it was the the normalcy of her alter-ego that really made the show appealing. In fact, not only did the show average 5.65 million viewers over its last season, but it season finale on January 16th of this year drew in excess of 6 million fans.
I’m happy to say that my daughter (now 5) and son (now 7) were two of the loyal followers, and I can’t imagine either one would be too happy about the prospect of the show having never existed. So while we do wish Billy Ray, Miley and the rest of their family well on mending their achy hearts, we will also thank them for filling ours. Their apparent loss was certainly our gain.