EntertainmentChild stars expose dark side of 90s TV shows in shock doc

Child stars expose dark side of 90s TV shows in shock doc

Sketches with sexual innuendos were the order of the day in Nickelodeon programs.
Sketches with sexual innuendos were the order of the day in Nickelodeon programs.
Images source: © Press materials

5:06 PM EDT, April 22, 2024

The documentary "Quiet on Set" unveiled the toxic, dangerous atmosphere surrounding famous American children's television programs from the late 90s and early 00s. The series exposed gender discrimination, a toxic work environment, and the presence of pedophiles on set, alongside jokes referring to pornography.

Originally intended to be a four-episode series, "Quiet on Set" sparked a massive uproar after its release on HBO. It initiated thousands of conversations and caused viewers shock, outrage, and despair. This overwhelming response prompted the creators to produce a special fifth episode, incorporating previously unaired testimonies from former child actors who were surprised by the documentary's impact. The release of one specific interview led to public outrage from a former actress featured.

Raquel Lee Bolleau, known for her childhood role in "The Amanda Show," discussed an upsetting incident where Amanda Bynes repeatedly spat in her face with water and other beverages.

Discovering that this previously unseen segment was included in the special episode, Bolleau expressed her fury through a social media video, condemning the documentary's creators. She was upset about the inclusion of her statement in the fifth episode and about being excluded from a panel discussion featuring other actors from the documentary who shared updates about their adult lives.

Drake Bell was once again featured in the special episode of "Quiet on Set," revisiting accusations by Brian Peck, a beloved dialogue coach on "The Amanda Show," who was convicted of molesting Bell on set and sentenced to 16 months in prison.

Drake Bell (on the left) talked about being molested by Brian Peck, known on the show as "Pickle"
Drake Bell (on the left) talked about being molested by Brian Peck, known on the show as "Pickle"© Press materials

Shane Lyons, a former actor from "All That," shared for the first time his discomforting experiences with Peck. He recalls how the coach's seemingly helpful demeanor was a façade masking his inappropriate conduct. Lyons admitted his ignorance of Peck's inappropriate sexual references, including a disturbing inquiry about "blue balls," which he naively misconstrued.

Pedophiles present on children's TV sets

A glaring loophole in laws protecting children in the entertainment industry was highlighted, noting that producers aren't required to vet the backgrounds of their hires as long as a child's parent or guardian is present on set. This lapse in legislative protection allows predators easy access to vulnerable children.

Dan Schneider, responsible for creating several popular Nickelodeon shows, was featured prominently in the documentary as a troubling figure having allowed at least three known pedophiles on his sets. Despite facing accusations of sexualizing young stars, Schneider managed to maintain a prominent role in the industry without significant consequences.

Jokes with a sexual undertone were a daily occurrence.
Jokes with a sexual undertone were a daily occurrence.© Press materials

In a special episode, Hoffman's ex-actors listened to his defense during an interview. He downplayed the sexual undertones in scripts and claimed ignorance of any discomfort among young actors. Former co-stars, including Giovonnie Samuels and Bryan Hearne, expressed their disillusionment and fear of Schneider, questioning the lack of repercussions for his actions over the years.

Jennette McCurdy, a star from "iCarly," detailed her harrowing experiences with Schneider in her 2022 book, "I'm Glad My Mom Died," highlighting the need for accountability and reform in how young actors are treated in the industry.

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