Leave Amanda Bynes Alone

The ‘All That’ star is returning to public life, but that doesn’t mean she should return to ‘TMZ’ headlines
Leave Amanda Bynes Alone

Former child star Amanda Bynes is set to make her return to public life following an “indefinite hiatus” from show business that began in 2010 amid highly publicized substance abuse and legal issues. Bynes will reunite with her co-stars from the beloved ‘90s sketch show All That at ‘90s Con in Connecticut this March.

We have just one request for fans, paparazzi, commentators and media members who will, no doubt, follow the return of the biggest stars in comedy from the 1990s and 2000s closely — leave Amanda alone. Cue Chris Crocker crying. Let’s not repeat the mistake we made with Britney Spears and swarm her return to celebrity life like moths to a flame while erasing any sense of privacy that a star of that magnitude so desperately needs and so rarely attains. Get an autograph, ask a question at the Q&A, jot down a pull quote or two and then LEAVE HER ALONE.

“I’m really excited to reunite with my castmates and meet the fans at ’90s Con,” Bynes told People Magazine in a brief statement. She will be joined by co-stars Kel Mitchell, Danny Tamberelli and Lori Beth Denberg, all of whom have made All That reunion appearances at past conventions. ‘90s Con will feature meet and greets with the cast members along with photo opportunities, and the convention will even auction off a replica of Nickelodeon’s iconic Big Orange Couch

The dark undercurrent that haunts the history of those 1990s Nickelodeon shows and the ugly rumors that surround Dan Schneider, the magnate responsible for All That, The Amanda Show and countless other Nickelodeon properties, will no doubt re-enter the public’s consciousness as Bynes makes her re-emergence into the popular culture. Too few of the allegations that have been levied against individuals responsible for the reported culture of abuse and exploitation of child actors at the network during those years have been meaningfully investigated, but it’s important to remember one thing when these topics come up — Bynes, as well as any of the former child stars involved in that period, should not be pressured into reliving whatever traumatic experiences she may have endured as bloggers and journalists pick at the threads of those stories.

The problems that plagued Bynes’ personal life following her Nickelodeon years have been reported to death by tabloids and gossip blogs, and they are not worth rehashing here. Suffice it to say that, after over a decade of conservatorship under her parents’ protection, Bynes, her lawyers and her parents unanimously agreed that the actress was ready to regain her autonomy, which the courts returned to her last March.

Now, Bynes is ready to re-enter the public sphere, and I sincerely hope that her transition back into celebrity life is a smooth and painless one that doesn’t result in a return to TMZ headlines and endless internet speculation about her mental state.

We hope ‘90s Con brings Bynes some joy, and if we’re lucky, brings out the dancing lobsters, too.

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