Sun. May 26th, 2024

Image: “Quiet on Set” Poster via IMDb

CONTENT WARNING: This article mentions sexual harassment and sexual abuse of a child.

(This article includes some spoilers of “Quiet on Set”) Very recently a new documentary-series has made its way to our screens. “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” (2024), directed by Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz, “uncovers the toxic culture behind some of the most iconic children’s shows of the late 1990s and early 2000s” (IMDb). Shows like “iCarly” (2007), “Sam and Cat” (2013), “Drake and Josh” (2004) and many more, were the foundations of our childhood. What we didn’t know was the dark and terrible truth of what happened behind the scenes of these shows we held so dear to us. There was already speculation about what may or may not have happened on the set of these iconic television shows. However, “Quiet on Set” shows viewers all the facts and proof of the horrible truth of what happened during the airing of some of Nickelodeon’s most successful TV shows. “Quiet on Set” covers some of Nickelodeon’s darkest history from “The Amanda Show” (1999), to a child actor’s life altering experience, to Dan Schneider, the creator of these shows, himself. 

“The Amanda Show” was a childrens sketch comedy television series created by Dan Schneider. It aired on Nickelodeon from 1999 to 2002 starring Amanda Bynes. There are many stories regarding unpleasant situations surrounding “The Amanda Show” that are covered throughout the episodes of “Quiet on Set.” For example, one of the major allegations from “Quiet on Set” revolves around accusations of sexual harrassment in “The Amanda Show” writers’ room. Allegedly, Dan Schneider would frequently pressure some of the women on the staff to give him massages and make inappropriate jokes/remarks. One story in particular is about two female writers that were hired for “The Amanda Show,” Christy Stratton and Jenny Kilgen. Both women and others shared their stories working for Nickelodeon and Dan Schneider.  

“Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” is bringing awareness to the abuse and torment some of the workers and child actors experienced on set. One of the most tragic stories is Drake Bell’s experience working for Nickelodeon. Drake Bell is best known for his role as Drake Parker on the Nickelodeon television series, “Drake & Josh,” and his released albums and singles, showcasing his talents as a musician. Drake Bell, like many others, was a child actor on the Nickelodeon set. Unfortunately, his experiences at Nickelodeon Studios and the irresponsible adult guardianship around him kickstarted a thread of tragic, life altering, chilling and continuous sexual assault perpetrated by producer Brian Peck. He shares his story with interviewers on “Quiet on Set.” Bell’s story is very eye opening to all of the awful things that happened to these children when they were supposed to be protected.

Dan Schneider is an American television producer, writer and actor. He is known for his creation of numerous popular children’s and teen sitcoms on Nickelodeon. He has been a prominent figure in the entertainment industry for years with his creations such as “Drake and Josh,” “iCarly,” “Victorious” (2010), “Henry Danger” (2014) and more. A lot of the abuse and misconduct brought to light throughout the few episodes of “Quiet on Set” revolve around Dan Schneider. Throughout the duration of the episodes that have been aired, Dan Schneider is made out to be the main problem with the way Nickelodeon functioned. He is described as short tempered, creepy, sexist and there is even eyewitness evidence of Dan Schneider being racially discriminatory. All of this information regarding Schneider is revealed by many writers, workers, actors and parents through their time being in the Nickelodeon TV industry.  

It is clear to see there are many mysteries to unfold when watching “Quiet on Set.” While growing up watching these shows, it’s hard to learn the truth of what happened behind closed doors of some of the most iconic TV shows of the 90’s and early 2000s. The show opens with a warning to children of the 90s and 2000s that watching “Quiet on Set” will ruin the shows we grew up with. And it does. Think about it. Being a child of the 90s and 2000s, it was every kid’s dream to be on Nickelodeon. It is sad to learn that that very dream coming true for those actors turned out to be a choice they could never take back. “Quiet on Set” really changes your perspective on these TV shows and it is a very important watch for those who grew up watching Nickelodeon. So how about it? Make a bowl of popcorn, snuggle up on the couch and watch your childhood get absolutely massacred by the truth of what happened on those sets. “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” Episode 5: “Breaking the Silence” airs on Sunday, April 7. Be sure not to miss it! 

 


Payton Vogt is a first-year English major. PV1017396@wcupa.edu

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