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Disney Channel Actor Explains The Wholesome Reason He Quit Acting & Got Into The Adult Entertainment Industry

Photo: New Africa / Shutterstock
actor holding film clapper

Have you ever watched a rerun of one of your favorite childhood TV shows and wondered what happened to the cast? A former Disney Channel actor recently opened up about his departure from mainstream TV.

Thirty-six-year-old actor Dan Benson once graced the screen with Selena Gomez in the Disney Channel hit show "Wizards of Waverly Place." After four seasons as Zeke Beakerman and a stint on "Rick and Morty," Benson all but disappeared from the big screen, and he had a heartwarming reason for doing it.

Benson has left acting and has moved on with a career in the adult entertainment industry for a wholesome reason.

In a viral TikTok video with almost seven million views, Benson shared his financial struggles as a full-time actor. “I make next to nothing from residuals,” he said. “I look back fondly on my time as an actor, but for the love of God, I could not make a living to save my life!” 

But that wasn't the only reason Benson left Hollywood. According to the actor, his beloved dog was in desperate need of help, but he could not afford it because of his salary. Instead of finding another acting job, he decided to try his luck with a career in adult entertainment.



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“So, if you're wondering why I got an adult entertainment, I basically couldn't afford medicated dog food for my dog and I was like you know what? [Expletive] it!’”

Benson isn't the only former Disney Channel star to speak out about pay. Joey Bragg, an actor from the hit series "Liv and Maddie," revealed he was being paid below minimum wage during his time on set.

Thankfully, Benson's change of career was a good one. He could get his dog’s prescribed food and make a living. “I get asked all the time how much money do you make now and it's so much money that I'm scared to give an accurate answer. That's how much money I'm making right now. I think I'm the luckiest person on Earth."

Benson confessed he's happier now and has no shame sharing it with the world.

It's been over a year since Benson started openly talking about his unexpected career change and it was a liberating experience.



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It helped that fans supported the former child star, but he admitted that the outpouring of love had him initially “confused.” Instead of getting backlash, he was supported which allowed him to explore his new career path without shame.

“I expected a lot more hate,” he confessed. But in the end, he does not feel bad about his decision at all. 

The truth is, Benson was lucky. The adult film industry is in crisis and because of the taboo nature of the business, the mental health of its actors isn't openly talked about.

In an interview with CBS, tenured actress, Amber Lynn, explained, "When I was young, I never really felt like I was in a position where if something happened to me, I wouldn't have somebody that I could turn to that would be able to see me through that dark period."

Stigma is to blame for the adult film mental health crisis and overall lack of support coupled with shame creates a never-ending loop of actors who need and want help but feel like they can't ask for it. Everyone deserves access to health services. Industry shame should never be a reason to suffer in silence.

Hopefully, more actors will come forward as Benson did and advocate for change — change in mental health access for adult film industry employees and change in the perception of anyone who chooses to work in the field.

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Lauren Reams is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, pop culture, and news.