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  • Writer's pictureJoshua U.

'Quiet On Set' Reaction: Pt. 1 & 2

If you essentially grew up with Nickelodeon like I did, this... has not been the easiest past couple of weeks for you, to say the least.


Nickelodeon's old foot logo.

Nickelodeon's old "foot" logo, which is now extremely disturbing in hindsight, given Dan Schneider's proclivity for teenagers' feet, as detailed in the 'Quiet On Set' docu-series.


On March 17th, 2024, 'Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV' launched on Investigation Discovery and MAX. This docu-series covered the rise of Nickelodeon in the 1990s, along with the rise of Dan Schneider, a talented-yet-ill-disposed producer who created incredibly popular shows from the late-'90s to the early 2000s.


The series pulled the curtain back on Nickelodeon's toxic and perverted workplace culture; a depressing, yet necessary revelation for myself and many others who grew up watching popular shows like 'All That', 'The Amanda Show', Drake and Josh, Zoey 101, iCarly, and others. It was a crazy experience to re-watch certain scenes, such as Ariana Grande attempting to squeeze a potato for juice -- and realize them for what they really were: perverted performance art.


Ariana Grande juicing a potato during her time at Nickelodeon.

Really?


It was also harrowing to listen to the unrelenting stories of abuse. Abuse, from gender discrimination & racial discrimination experienced by actors and workers, to rampant pedophilia & sexual harassment on the sets of multiple shows, to flat out rape and brutalization. Child actors Amanda Bynes, Jeanette McCurdy, who were & are each known in their adult lives for handling the trauma of being Nickelodeon stars in each of their own, visceral ways, didn't appear on the documentary.


Dan Schneider being presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Kids Choice Awards

IMAGE: The child stars of Nickelodeon all grown up, presenting notorious producer Dan Schneider with the Lifetime Achievement Award at Nickelodeon's Kid Choice Awards in 2014. Amanda Bynes and Jeanette McCurdy were notably not present.


However, multiple former Nick stars did, such as Leon Frierson, Giovonnie Samuels, Bryan Hearne, and others.


Kory David, Justin Greenberg & I found the common ground of enjoying Nickelodeon's programs as youngins, and discussed the first 4 episodes of the series in great detail below.



Musician and child actor Drake Bell was the subject of Episode 3 of this docu-series, as he told his hard-hitting story of being a victim of rape before the airing of his hit show, Drake and Josh. Brian Peck (no relation to Josh Peck) was arrested back in 2003 for "lewd and lascivious acts with a minor", though the victim of Peck's crimes wasn't revealed. That was until Bell stepped up and discussed the manner in which Peck manipulated his way around his father and mother to brutalize him repetitively, until he contributed to a police sting to bring Peck down.


Drake Bell on Episode 3 of Quiet On Set

On the third episode of 'Quiet On Set' titled "Breaking The Silence", Drake Bell told his story of falling victim to sexual assault as a teen -- although the presentation of the full context of Drake's story was considered as lacking to many.


Bell's story is depressing, no doubt. He was failed by a countless amount of people, including the leadership at Nickelodeon for allowing Peck and at least two other pedophiles to roam the sets, to Drake's own mother for bypassing Drake's father's wish to not allow Drake anywhere with Peck without supervision.


But what drew many viewers' ire was the lack of transparency about Drake's own allegations of improper behavior with a minor, as well as his multiple arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol. To discuss this subject, Liam Flynn joined the podcast to provide a full account of Bell's story, and the conversation progressed into a debate on how much sympathy and credit Bell actually deserves for telling his story on the documentary. Listen below, as well as wherever you get your podcasts.



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