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The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Quiet on Set

With the release of “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV”, our favorite childhood shows take on a whole new meaning. The new documentary series, which was released on MAX on Mar. 17, 2024, unraveled the dark side of what went on behind the scenes of some of the most iconic TV show sets of our childhood.  

From the outside, being a child actor seemed like the perfect job to have. Growing up, we saw what seemed like normal kids just like us that were having the time of their lives, but that wasn’t the case. Unfortunately, a lot of our childhood idols such as Drake Bell, Amanda Bynes, and many more, went through a lot of traumatic experiences.  

Dan Schneider, the creator of numerous Nickelodeon hit shows including iCarly, Victorious, and Drake and Josh, was a major factor in why these child actors had bad experiences on set. Under his tenure as producer, Schneider led a toxic work environment including abuse and harassment among some of the child stars and adults working on the set. Throughout his career, he would shame female workers for not following his unreasonable requests, having inappropriate relationships with child actors, as well as cold-shouldering the actors who he didn’t feel were giving him enough in return. 

Since many of the actors were minors, parents had to accompany their children on set in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA laws. Drake Bell’s father, Joe Bell, was one of the many parents who brought up concerns with some of the behaviors they were noticing happening on set but were shut down by those in charge when they aired their concerns. Being turned down so quickly by those in charge, such as Dan Schneider, many parents began to be concerned about the conditions their children were working in, but the parents could only do so much. 

Drake Bell, who is famous for his lead role in the popular Nickelodeon show Drake and Josh, revealed in one of the episodes the trauma that he faced while growing up on set from one of the producers, Brian Peck. Peck was found guilty of horrible acts such as sexual abuse against a minor which resulted in him being required to register as a sex offender.  

After hearing about the horrors that went on behind the scenes on some of the most popular sets of the late 90s and early 2000’s, it is important as a society to understand how quickly things can happen and the importance of having people around you that you can trust. The documentary unleashed a new layer of concern with toxic work environments and unfortunately how common it can be these days. It’s crucial to support those who have suffered and been affected by the traumatic situations they were put in.  

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