Are Debby Ryan & Skai Jackson Still Friends? They've Had Ups & Downs
Remember the good old days, when Debby Ryan and Skai Jakson starred on Disney Channel's Jessie together? While Jessie was on air from 2011 to 2015, the two gals seemed to be cool with one another. Despite their age difference (Ryan is nine years older than Jackson), they shared plenty of laughs on set, and seemingly shared a sisterly bond. So much so, you'd think Debby Ryan and Skai Jackson would still be friends in 2020.
The bond between Ryan and Jackson started off so strong in 2011, and they couldn't help but gush about one another at the time. Both on and off set, they seemed thrilled to work with each other.
“Debby Ryan is fantastic, I love to have her. She’s a great person and she has good acting skills,” Jackson told Clevver TV at the time.
In September 2011, Ryan shared this adorbs snapshot of her snuggling up with Jackson, and it was too cute for words. "Snuggle time with Princess Skai before our live-audience taping," she captioned the sweet post.
However, in the years following the show's final season, things turned wiry between the two girls. It all started in 2015, when unsubstantiated rumors claiming Jackson ran a secret Twitter account where she claimed Ryan was bullying her on set started spreading on social media. The fact that there's no proof said account ever existed (much less that Jackson ran it) didn't stop the rumors from running wild.
Ryan spoke out amid all the rumors. While she did not address the fake Twitter account claims, she did imply there was some discord behind the scenes. In a lengthy Tumblr post, Ryan wrote, "I won’t speak on specific people, because it’s unprofessional to slander coworkers online, but if I had one wish for every child that’s an actor– especially those that tend to be the mouthpiece for parental maliciousness– I’d wish for complete contentment, emotional security, and that they’d somehow find the joy in telling stories."
In 2016, Ryan was chatting it up with fans on Twitter, and one of them name-dropped Jackson and brought up the long-running fan rumors of a feud between the actresses. When the fan told Ryan that Jackson had "talked sh*t" about her, Ryan neither confirmed nor denied the rumors.
"That's sad, but not really my business," she responded, according to J-14, in a since-deleted tweet.
These days, it appears the two have kicked any drama to the curb (if there ever really was any). In 2017, Ryan took to Twitter to celebrate the anniversary of the show's 2011 premiere and including multiple photos with Jackson.
As for Jackson, it looks like everything is water under the bridge. On Jan. 21, Jackson addressed the drama rumors in her TikTok video comments. When one fan asked: "is it true that u don't like [Debby] Ryan?" Jackson responded by saying, "girl no... love her," with a heart emoji.
Despite her sweet response, one internet troll decided to modify Jackson's answer, and uploaded a clip of the same TikTok video, but edited the comment to say: "Girl, no. F**k that musty white b**ch".
"Y’all are nuts for making a fake reply," Jackson said, addressing the malicious edit. "I clearly said 'no girl. I love her! ❤' don’t do that again..." she pleaded.
While Ryan and Jackson haven't interacted with each other directly on social media in years, and haven't been photographed together either, the initial bond between Ryan and Jackson was undeniably special. Any drama that may have occurred between them seemed to have been wildly blown out of proportion by fans. And whether the two are super close friends in 2020 or not, they clearly have a mutual respect for the work they did together on Jessie.