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Disney Denies Jonas Brothers Are Make-Believe
HOLLYWOOD (CAP) - Officials at the Walt Disney Co. are denying mounting Internet rumors that teen pop stars the Jonas Brothers are not a real singing group, but rather a fabrication created by session musicians and Disney animators.
"The Jonas Brothers are real," said Disney CEO Bob Iger. "The idea that any of their records, T-shirts, jewelry, tote bags, calendars, glowsticks (with lanyard) or thousands of other items available right now at disney.com are based on a fabrication is ludicrous."
"We are absolutely, positively 100 percent real people," said Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas in a prepared statement from their publicist released through Disney attorneys.
But several websites - including the site www.fakejonas.com, which was recently shut down after Disney attorneys sought a restraining order in Los Angeles District Court - have claimed that the group's music is generated entirely by anonymous Disney session musicians, and that the teen heartthrobs have been portrayed in concert and other appearances by up to 20 different actors, many of them women.
One actress, who spoke to CAP News under condition of anonymity, said she's played Kevin Jonas on three separate occasions, and that she's typically worked with other actresses portraying Joe and Nick. "You just try finding a guy who can fit into those pants," she noted. "I have to starve myself for a week before one of those gigs."
The rumors have drawn the ire of many of those close to the group, including "Hannah Montana" star Miley Cyrus, who included the brothers as the opening act on her recent sold-out national tour.
"Sweet Niblets, I've never heard of anything so ridiculous!" she said. "Y'all are really stretching with this one." However, critics have pointed out the possibility that Cyrus might also be an animated character, programmed by Disney technicians to say things like "Y'all" and "Sweet Niblets."
"It's amazing what they can do," noted TMZ.com managing editor Harvey Levin, whose website has offered repeated updates on the Jonas Brothers story. "Have you seen those animatronic pirates? We had a guy following one around for three weeks before we realized it wasn't really Johnny Depp."
The news that the Jonas Brothers may not be all that they appear has also prompted a response from another brothers group, Hanson, who had a No. 1 single in 1997 with "MMMBop."
"Those Jonas boys seemed a little too good to be true," said Zac Hanson, speaking by phone from Sober Living By The Sea in Newport Beach, Calif. "I knew deep down that they didn't get where they were like we did, through hard work, clean living and having luscious, naturally wavy hair." Hanson noted that his group plans to mount a comeback tour when brothers Isaac and Taylor are released from federal prison in 2009.
Meanwhile, Focus on the Family chairman James Dobson said he would be "extremely disappointed" if it turned out the Jonas Brothers were not real.
"They are just the type of wholesome family act we'd like to see gain traction in the popular culture," said Dobson. "They come from a religious family, their lyrics are positive and age-appropriate, and they look so upstanding wearing ties and nice snug slacks, and with those deep brown eyes and full lips, and those little round tushes ... Um, can I call you back in five minutes?"
Also under scrutiny is a memo purported to have circulated internally at Disney, which allegedly confirms that Iger ordered animators to create the Jonas Brothers after the controversy over High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens' nude photos in 2007.
"That was the last straw," confirmed one Disney executive who asked not to be identified. "The only way you're ever going to see the Jonas Brothers naked is if you check out Bob Iger's hard drive."
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