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Acting: Entertainment vs. Trauma


“A boomerang returns back to the person that throws it,” says Vera Nazarian, fantasy and science fiction author. Alleged actions detailed in a new documentary series about what happened on Nickelodeon shows from 20 years ago are a hot topic among students.

The first episode of “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” is reported to have been watched by around 20 million viewers and, “has become the largest audience for an unscripted series on Max,” according to

In the documentary, Drake Bell, one of the brothers on Nickelodeon’s “Drake and Josh,” spoke out about how he was sexually assaulted behind the scenes. 

“Drake and Josh” had four seasons with the show airing from Jan. 11, 2004 to Sept. 16, 2007. Drake Bell is 37 years old, meaning that he was 15 when the show started being filmed and 19 by the time the show finished airing.

Because of Drake’s age, this also makes him a child abuse victim. Drake later reveals that the predator ended up being his former dialogue coach, Brian Peck.

In 2003, Brian Peck pleaded no contest to two charges of sexual assault and served 16 months in prison. It was unknown that the victim at the time was Bell, until 21 years later, when he decided to speak up in the Quiet on Set documentary series. 

The documentary exposed some things that had happened to Drake but also taps into Hollywood and the hidden ways that child actors and actresses are treated in other shows as well.

Jennette McCurrdy, who played Sam on “iCarly” and “Sam & Cat,” wrote a book titled “I’m Glad My Mom Died.” In this book, she never specifically said a name but stated that “a big name producer” had sexually assaulted her during her time on Nickelodeon.

She reveals more details about her experiences in her book, along with the fact that Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 to keep quiet about it.

Dan Schneider denies these allegations.

Even with his proclaimed innocence, there are still students who don’t believe what Schneider is saying to be true. Katherine Stone, a sophomore criminal justice major, who has also done some acting, states, “I feel for every single child actor that had to experience what Dan Schneider and Nickelodeon put them through and how they weren’t protected.”

Stone also says, “Many of these child actors were their family’s main source of income at the time and weren’t able to allow it to affect them.”

This isn’t only being said about “Drake and Josh.” There are other shows such as “iCarly,” “Sam and Cat,” “Victorious,” “Zoey 101,” and “The Amanda Show.”

Amanda Bynes, the star of “The Amanda Show,” supposedly created an alternate Twitter account, to make people aware of the abuse she was going through. Bynes has not confirmed this yet.

There was allegedly a Tweet that reads, “Can you imagine having an abortion at 13, because your boss impregnated you? Because your father touched you? Exposing the truth and having your freedom threatened?”

Actress Bella Thorne is known by some for being on her Disney Show, “Shake It Up.” Around four years ago, she interviewed with ABC and she spoke on her experience with sexual abuse at Disney. Thorne says, “You’ll be like, haha, transitioning from Disney to this was f-ing easy. I don’t know, getting molested for f-ing, from you’re 6 to you’re 14 seems like way harder circumstances. Being physically abused all the time seems like a much more difficult situation.”

Aidan Broyles, a senior film and television major at the Savannah College of Art and Design, has experience in the film industry. He says, “Sadly it’s not surprising. That kind of misconduct is and has been super prevalent throughout the industry. It’s nothing new.”

Broyles also said, “It would be incredibly stressful and horrifying to have to go to work every day and experience that kind of assault.”

“I’ve had the pleasure over the years of respecting my boundaries as an actress, but of course, there are many people within the field that will test those boundaries . . . I believe it has shed new light on what many people speculated for years and has forced open the doors for change within the film industry. A necessary change for the safety of child actors and all actors alike.” – Katherine Stone, actress and criminal justice major

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    ZachApr 19, 2024 at 4:01 pm

    Great Article! Very informative.