Last month, Disney announced that it was severing ties with controversial YouTube star Jake Paul. Up until that point, Paul had appeared on Disney Channel's Bizaardvark alongside Olivia Rodrigo and Madison Hu. At the time of the decision, Paul posted a message to fans announcing his departure while many speculated the split was less mutual than press releases implied. Now, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Paul is acknowledging as much while speaking about what it was like juggling his Disney persona with his growing YouTube career.
First, Paul says he would often get e-mail and notes from Disney with concerns about the content of his videos. As he explains, "I was becoming edgier with my content," adding that he was once reprimanded because he "put a middle finger up in a video for literally half a second." He went on to say, "I don't know if they were having someone scan my videos full-time, but I'm guessing they were," he says. "There kept on being moments like that every few weeks."
As many had suspected, Paul says that final straw for Disney came following the star's interview with KTLA. In the now-viral clip, a reporter for the Los Angeles network came to speak with Paul about complaints the actor's neighbors had filed alleging his loud parties and antics were disturbing the community. However, an unapologetic Paul only made more headlines after he jumped atop the network's news van and proceeded to mock the reporter.
Speaking to THR, Paul says Disney made their decision after that incident. "They basically called me and were like, 'Yo, what's going on, what's going on?'" he says. "And I just explained the situation, and they were like, 'OK. We want to expedite this process of weaning you off the show.' And I was like, 'Yeah, that's fine. But it's going to look like you guys fired me.' And they were like, 'We can say that we mutually parted ways and blah, blah, blah.' And that's the reality of the story."
Bizaardvark is currently in its second season on Disney Channel.