The latest TV series to get its own nostalgic reboot is That's So Raven. The Disney sitcom will return on July 21 with a followup series, Raven's Home, about the original characters' children. And while many of the original cast members, including Raven-Symoné and Anneliese van der Pol, will be reprising their roles, the original Eddie isn't in Raven's Home. Disney recast Orlando Brown's role; YouTube star Alonzo Lerone will reportedly be playing the third member of the trio. And it seems as if the strained relationship between Symoné and Brown and Brown's troubles with the law may have been the contributing reasons for the swap. Bustle has reached out to Disney, but the network has not commented at this time.
It appears that matters were not always so sticky between the stars of the Disney Channel sitcom. In 2015, Raven-Symoné invited Brown and van der Pol onto The View to discuss their experiences behind the scenes and share updates on what they're doing now. It's hard to tell if the former cast mates are just saying what fans want to hear, but they do reference spending time together off-set, hanging out at Raven's house cooking dinner, and even doing "That's So Raven Tuesdays." (OK, pretty sure that was just a joke.) But as of mid-2015, things seemed cordial, if not particularly close, between Brown and Symoné.
But here's a common scenario in TV: Gossip runs rampant that there's a behind-the-scenes romantic relationship between two of its stars. Beginning in 2016, Brown has publicly made references to allegedly having a sexual relationship with Raven-Symoné, which his co-star has never corroborated. In February of 2016, Brown released a freestyle rap video with the lyric, "It's like Raven aborted my baby," an allegation that Symoné did not respond to. A few weeks later, in March, Brown told VladTV that his abortion lyric was not meant literally, saying, "It's clearly a play on words, and it's a metaphor. Basically, what I mean by that is, y'all want me to go crazy."
In another interview with VladTV in late 2016, Brown claimed again that he and Symoné had a past sexual relationship, describing their romantic history in explicit, eccentric detail (Hansen's "MMMBop" is referenced). During that interview, Brown also made other claims, including that Raven-Symoné was jealous of Miley Cyrus, and that his former co-star "still ain't called me," suggesting the two had not spoken recently. Again, Symoné did not respond.
Beyond personal issues, Disney may have been reluctant to keep Brown in the role due to other concerns. In February 2016, TMZ reported on Brown's arrest for allegedly hitting his girlfriend and having drugs in his possession.
When the Raven's Home cast was announced back in November 2016, Brown told a TMZ crew, “I think it would disappoint many fans, but it’s all for the greater good,” and offered some congratulations to Alonzo Lerone. (Lerone made the announcement he would be taking the role on Twitter.) Brown also managed to work in another criticism for Raven-Symoné in his mostly conciliatory message. "I think maybe she’s far off into another land mentally to where she made a decision she felt was better for her, and that was great. I love her still," Brown said to TMZ.
With Brown's history of unconfirmed and sometimes offensive comments about Raven-Symoné, it makes sense that the That's So Raven star wouldn't be invited back into the group for this new chapter. But it seems that Orlando Brown has made some peace with the situation, since he did — however passive-aggressively — wish the reboot well.