Coco Jones was an upcoming black singer, dancer, and actress working with Disney Channel. She was featured in the beloved Disney Channel original “Let it Shine”, which showed off a multitude of her talents. It is a common trend for Disney Stars careers to take off into a different path once their contracts end, as we’ve seen with Zendaya, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and more. But in a lot of instances where a lot of talented black singers and actresses left Disney, their careers were stunted, stars including, Raven Symone, Chyna Anne Mcclain, or Keke Palmer. Yes their careers still continue but the growth is not as exponential. In a recent Youtube video, Coco Jones explains how her spotlight in Hollywood was cut short because of the lewd acts she did not want to commit too in order to climb the ladder of fame. Jones also mentions that she believed if she worked hard and showed her talents, that alone would be the key, but she soon came to realize they required more of her, and chose other “marketable” girls.
“I didn’t know it was going to be different than how the other girls are, it doesn’t matter how well you can sing, it doesn’t matter that you’re nice, it doesn’t matter that you’re easy to work with, it doesn’t matter that you’re always on time, it doesn’t matter that you always say yes ma’am and no ma’am, I didn’t have to do any of that, but I did!”
The record label she later signed on to controlled her every move, word, and outfit as well. All under the age of 16, she talks about how traumatizing how much this was for her as a child wondering if she did anything wrong and not knowing how to cope or compartmentalize her feelings. “I get a call from my manager at my house and they’re like ‘We don’t know what to do with you’.” Coco Jones says this in her Youtube video title “What Really happened” after mentioning how her label suddenly dropped her.
In conclusion, an extremely talented young black artist was failed by her management and a system that wants more than talent.