Child stars: When will they learn?

Amanda Stanley

First it was Mary-Kate Olsen and her struggle with an eating disorder and alleged problems with cocaine. Now, another “Full House” star is getting negative publicity.

Last Wednesday former child actress Jodie Sweetin appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to admit she had been addicted to methamphetamines.

Sweetin is probably best known, and only known, for her role on the ABC sitcom “Full House.” She played the beloved middle child, Stephanie Tanner. Having grown up on “Full House,” it came as quite a surprise and disappointment when I heard the fate of my favorite Tanner sister. Now, Sweetin will not only be remembered as the precocious Stephanie Tanner, but rather another child star fallen victim to the clich‚s of child actors.

Sweetin can now join the ranks of some of Hollywood’s most notorious child stars. Danny Bonaduce, who appeared on “The Partridge Family,” has had his fair share of battles with drugs and anger. Sadly, he most recently appeared on VH1’s “Breaking Bonaduce” displaying to the world just how pathetic his life really is.

Then there’s Leif Garrett, a dreamy ’70s pop-music icon. Garrett was recently charged with heroin possession. He pleaded not guilty, by the way.

There’s also Jaimee Foxworth, who appeared as Judy Winslow on another ABC sitcom, “Family Matters.” Foxworth, made the natural progression from sitcoms to porn. Her situation is similar to that of Elizabeth Berkley of “Saved by the Bell.” How could we forget Berkley’s failed attempt to become a serious actress by taking her clothes off in Showgirls?

Many of these child stars blame their quick rise to fame as cause for their decent into drugs, crime or porn. However, Sweetin told “Good Morning America” that she was simply unemployed and bored. Bored?

When I’m bored I take a nap or watch television. I don’t decide to try one of the most debilitating drugs. It is obvious that somewhere between childhood and Hollywood, these child stars lose touch with reality and common sense.

I am a member, as are most Kent State students, of the generation that grew up on “Full House.” So needless to say, I was slightly shocked when I heard of Sweetin’s announcement.

But I guess it shouldn’t come as a huge shocker to us that Sweetin is a recovering drug addict. Who could forget the episode where Stephanie Tanner tried smoking cigarettes? But thankfully, in that case Danny Tanner, the ever-so-moral father, intervened in a swift, calm manner.

The rise and fall of these child stars can leave us all with several life lessons. One: Never become a child star. Two: Porn is never a good idea. And finally, if you’re bored, take a nap, not meth.

I can’t help but feel as if Sweetin has let our generation down, a generation raised on squeaky clean Friday night sitcoms. Thanks for letting us down, Sweetin, we all had so much hope for you. And to that we say, “How rude!”

Amanda Stanley is a junior magazine major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].