The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

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The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

“Quiet on Set”

The Docu-series that we have not been quiet about


“Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kid’s TV” is a five-part docuseries discussing behind-the-scenes experiences of child actors on the set of Nickelodeon. Having originally aired on Investigation Discovery, this documentary series became one of the most viewed in America after its release in March of 2024.

It is not surprising that “Quiet on Set” is doing so well. Many internet users have already been discussing their various theories regarding Nickelodeon Producer, Dan Schneider, and his odd fascination with children’s feet for a few years now.

Jennette Mccurdy, a former Nickelodeon actress who starred in “iCarly” and “Sam and Cat” alludes to being mistreated by Dan Schneider in her bestselling memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died.”

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Some erratic X social media posts from an alleged fake account of “The Amanda Show” star, Amanda Bynes — who is discussed in detail during “Quiet on Set” — have only fueled these allegations. 

While many were looking forward to seeing her speak out in “Quiet on Set,” Bynes turned down the interview and said that she had a very different experience than her costars. Although there is no factual evidence that Schneider abused Bynes, they did have an unusual dynamic.

Many former child actors interviewed for the “Quiet on Set” docuseries talk about the close relationship between Amanda Bynes and Dan Schneider, as well as her parents’ proximity to the set.

Dan Schneider’s aid in Amanda Bynes’ failed attempt at legal emancipation from her parents was also documented.

However, what shocked America the most was the heartbreaking testimony of “Drake and Josh” star, Drake Bell. Bell had suffered from sexual abuse at the hands of a dialogue coach on set, Brian Peck, when he was just 15 years old.

In 2004, Brian Peck pleaded no contest to two sexual abuse charges in relation to his actions toward Bell, in addition to a 16-month prison sentence. He was then forced to also register as a sex offender.

In episode four of the “Quiet on Set” series, Bell speaks out against supporters of Brian Peck. Several letters in support of Peck, written by notable people in the child TV and Hollowood industry, were also revealed.

Moreover, many of these letters take on a tone of victim-blaming or defensiveness.

One in particular, written by actress Joanna Kerns, who worked with Peck for seven years on the set of “Growing Pains,” said, “I have never known Brian to engage in the type of illegal activity with which he is charged and can only believe that there must have been some extreme situation or temptation exerted upon him to influence his actions.” 

Kerns told producers of “Quiet on Set” that she wrote her letter of support based on misinformation.

In the documentary, it is also revealed that Brian Peck was proud to be pen-pals with the infamous American serial killer and sex offender, John Wayne Gacy.

What I took away from “Quiet on Set” is that not even children’s TV is innocent. Often it is the opposite because these minors are often being exploited for money by the adults in their lives.

Also, a lot of content on Nickelodeon was not appropriate for their underaged target audience. Most of what the actors described in interviews that made them feel uncomfortable on set were the obvious, inappropriate sexual innuendos and the unfavorable lack of clothing.

As a kid who watched Nickelodeon at 11, I remember sometimes being confused when the laugh track came on. These jokes flew over my head because I was too young to understand them, and now that I do understand these “jokes,” in hindsight, a lot of them were just weird and not actually funny.

Dan Schneider was not only responsible for writing an excessive amount of sexually related jokes in children’s shows, but he also verbally abused many of his staff members and hired sex offenders like Brian Peck in the first place.

Whether there is any evidence of his abuse on set beyond verbal or not, Schneider was still a problematic producer. Even the anonymous Nickelodeon costume designer had something to say about his inappropriate behavior with staff members.

Watching this documentary also made me wonder how many failed child actors actually spiraled out of control because of newfound fame, rather than neglectful parenting.

Stemming from this curiosity, I am forced to ponder why  Drake Bell’s mom let a 15-year-old kid stay the night with a 40-something-year-old man who is pen pals with John Wayne Gacy. It seemed like a lot of the parents of these former actors who were interviewed still did not want to take accountability for their mistakes and were just there to make money.

While this docuseries was sad to watch as someone who watched Nickelodeon shows as a kid, I really do recommend it. This was not just your typical podcast where all of these people were just throwing around allegations.

Real corruption in the children’s TV industry and real court cases were being exposed. 

Even with all of the spoilers I got from social media due to its popularity, “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kid’s TV” still proved to be entertaining and informative of the struggles that former child actors faced.

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Brooklyn McKinney
Brooklyn McKinney, Staff Writer

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