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"Quiet on Set" Breaks the Silence of Nickelodeon’s Child Actors

Jason Merritt/Intouch Weekly

Stacey Addo | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Recently, Investigation Discovery (ID) announced their upcoming four-part docuseries entitled, “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV”. The series is set to premiere on March 17 on ID and Max. The documentary will feature numerous former child actors and even parents of cast members, who’ve worked with infamous Nickelodeon director Dan Schneider, who will detail the alleged abuse they faced on set during their time working with the creator.

“Quiet on Set” aims to pull back the curtains to find out what happened behind the Schnieder universe. Schneider created numerous child TV shows including “All That,” “The Amanda Show,” “iCarly,” “Victorious,” and “Henry Danger”. TV shows that spanned Nickelodeon fans of several generations. But for years people have pointed out the patterns of inappropriate innuendos on what was supposed to be children's television, and the rumors of inappropriate misconduct behind the scenes also caused concern. Schneider was faced with allegations of sexism, racism, inappropriate relationships with minors, and straight-up abuse. But while allegations against the creator spanned years, it wasn’t until 2018 that the network finally decided to cut ties with the director.

It was reported by Deadline that members of Schneider’s staff filed multiple complaints about his abusive behavior. This included his “well documented temper”, previous tweets containing photos of the toes of young female actors, along with issues of budgeting, grueling production hours, and the reluctance to share space. 

Nickelodeon released a statement saying, “Following many conversations together about next directions and future opportunities, Nickelodeon and our long-time creative partner Dan Schneider/Schneider’s Bakery have agreed to not extend the current deal.” They also thanked Schneider for his “immeasurable contributions to Nickelodeon.”

In 2022, Jenette McCurdy best known for her role as Sam Puckett in “iCarly” published her book “I’m Glad My Mom Died” where she recounts her days as a child actor. In the book she discusses “The Creator” of “iCarly” and their inappropriate dynamic which included massages at work, photographing her in a bikini, and pressuring her to drink underage. She writes, “The Creator is doing the thing that I’ve heard from my co-stars he does with every new star of a show that he’s making—he takes you under his wing. You’re his favorite.” She also alleges that she turned down a $300,000 offer from Nickelodeon that would’ve prevented her from sharing her experience while working for the network.

In the trailer for “Quiet on Set,” they teased the audience about an actor who would be talking about their alleged abuse for the first time. While the internet swirled with guesses like Amanda Bynes and Jamie Lynn Spears, it was revealed that Drake Bell of Schneider's shows "The Amanda Show" and most notably “Drake and Josh,” would be discussing his abuse from Brian Peck who was convicted in 2004 for his crimes against Bell and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Peck was formerly Bell’s dialogue coach but was also an actor who has appeared on several shows including “Good Burger” and “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”. Previous to his crimes against Bell, Peck was arrested in 2003 and convicted after pleading no contest to lewd acts with a child, and oral copulation, and was sentenced to 16 months in prison. Despite this, he was still working with child actors.

In response to the docuseries, a spokesperson for Schneider issued a statement to Entertainment Weekly saying, “Dan cared about the kids on his shows even when sometimes their own families unfortunately did not. He understood what they were going through and he was their biggest champion. The fact is many of the kids on these shows are put in the untenable position of becoming the breadwinner for their family and the pressure that comes along with that… it is still a hard place to be a kid and nobody knew that better than Dan."


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