Everything former Nickelodeon stars have said in response to the docuseries 'Quiet on Set'

Everything former Nickelodeon stars have said in response to the docuseries 'Quiet on Set'
  • Former Nickelodeon stars are speaking out after Investigation Discovery's docuseries "Quiet on Set."

  • The docuseries included revelations of abuse and a toxic work environment at the network.

  • Drake Bell, Alexa Nikolas, and more actors shared their responses to the doc on social media.

Investigation Discovery's docuseries "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV" has cast a shadow over Nickelodeon's legacy in children's TV.

"Quiet on Set," released in four parts across two nights on March 17 and 18, has been watched by more than 16 million viewers, the largest audience for an unscripted series since the launch of the streaming service Max. The docuseries came after years of reports of a toxic work environment under producer Dan Schneider at Nickelodeon, including a 2022 investigation by Business Insider's Kate Taylor, on which the series is based.

The docuseries has reignited a conversation about unsafe working conditions for child actors, and put former cast, crew, and Schneider himself back in the spotlight to relitigate their past experiences at the network. Schneider also released a nearly 20-minute video in which he addressed claims made about him in the docuseries and apologized, saying he wished he'd treated people better on set.

The conversation is still going: a bonus fifth episode of "Quiet on Set" was released on April 7, and stars like Victoria Justice and Lori Beth Denberg have shared their thoughts on Schneider and the doc in the time since.

Here's everything former Nickelodeon stars have said in response to "Quiet on Set."

Alexa Nikolas, who starred as Nicole Bristow on the first two seasons of 'Zoey 101,' slammed Schneider's apology video

Nikolas reacted to Schneider's video during a livestream that was uploaded on the YouTube channel for her activist group Eat Predators.

She described Schneider as a "bully" and said that she "would've appreciated if Dan apologized directly to me."

"When someone doesn't personally come to you and apologize, it's not an apology," Nikolas said. "If you hear about it through other people, it's not really an apology, right? An apology is to the person that you hurt. That's what an apology is for."

While watching Schneider's video for the first time, Nikolas criticized the producer for not taking accountability.

"I don't forgive Dan Schneider," she said. "Not saying I'll never, right? But currently, right now, that made me a little more upset, just because that just wasn't it. That wasn't proper accountability. That was avoiding a lot of the main discussions here that were mentioned in 'Quiet on Set.' This was him playing the sympathy card, centering himself, playing the victim."

After coming forward about being sexually abused as a teen, Drake Bell called Nickelodeon's response 'empty'

Drake Bell in episode two of the Investigation Discovery docuseries "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV."
Drake Bell in episode two of the Investigation Discovery docuseries "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV."Investigation Discovery

In the docuseries, Bell revealed that he was the 15-year-old actor who was sexually abused by acting and dialogue coach Brian Peck.

Nickelodeon reacted to Bell's revelation in a statement shared with Deadline.

"Now that Drake Bell has disclosed his identity as the plaintiff in the 2004 case, we are dismayed and saddened to learn of the trauma he has endured, and we commend and support the strength required to come forward," the statement read.

Bell spoke about the fallout from the docuseries during an in-depth interview for "The Sarah Fraser Show."

The actor said that he wasn't impressed by Nickelodeon's statement.

"There's a very well-tailored response saying, 'Learning about his trauma,' because they couldn't say that they didn't know about this or know what had happened, or anything," Bell said. "So I think that was a really well-tailored response by probably some big attorney in Hollywood. I find it pretty empty, their responses, because they still show our shows, they still put our shows on. And I have to pay for my own therapy."

"If there was any truth behind them actually caring, there would be something more than quotes on a page by obviously a legal representative telling them exactly how to tailor a response," he added.

At the time of his interview with Sarah Fraser, Bell said that no one who wrote the letters in support of his abuser Peck had reached out and genuinely apologized to him.

"I haven't gotten an apology, or a sorry, from anybody that had written letters, or was involved in supporting him at all," he said.

He added that he did appreciate "X-Men" producer Tom DeSanto's statement to People magazine, in which he said that he was given misinformation regarding the case.

"With the knowledge and understanding I possess today, I want to personally apologize to Drake and his family and emphatically state that had I been fully informed of all the accusations, my support would have been absolutely withheld," DeSanto said.

Bell also said that his "Drake & Josh" costar Josh Peck (who is unrelated to Brian Peck), reached out to him privately.

Bell acknowledged that he and Josh Peck have had "ups and downs" in their relationship over the years, but said they have a special bond and that he didn't want the public to attack his costar for not speaking up after the docuseries' release. Bell shared similar comments in a video posted on TikTok in which he asked fans to "take it a little easy" on Peck for not speaking out publicly.

Since the letters were made public in the docuseries, directors Beth and Rich Correll have also publicly apologized to Bell for supporting the acting coach.

"If we had known the truth at the time the letters were written, we never would have written them," they said, in part, in a statement to Variety.

In April, Bell shared a post on X revealing that he's spoken to "Boy Meets World" star Rider Strong, one of the celebrities who wrote a letter in support of Peck.

"I just had the most amazing conversation with @RiderStrong we are all healing together. I have nothing but love and forgiveness for him," Bell wrote.

Josh Peck said that he contacted his 'Drake & Josh' costar Drake Bell privately to offer his support

Josh Peck and Drake Bell in season four of "Drake & Josh."
Josh Peck and Drake Bell on season four of "Drake & Josh."Nickelodeon

"I finished the 'Quiet On Set 'documentary and took a few days to process it," Peck wrote in a post shared on Instagram. "I reached out to Drake privately, but want to give my support for the survivors who were brave enough to share their stories of emotional and physical abuse on Nickelodeon sets with the world. Children should be protected."

"Reliving this publicly is incredibly difficult, but I hope it can bring healing for the victims and their families as well as necessary change to our industry," he added.

'The Amanda Show' star Raquel Lee Bolleau said that appearing in the docuseries and watching it back has resulted in 'deep pain'

"I've been in deep pain the past few days watching the documentary 'Quiet on Set,'" Bolleau said in an Instagram post. "To know that I am not alone in some of the things I experienced as a child actor, but to also hear the types of environments I was in as a kid without even knowing, just sickens my stomach. I know that everything happens for a reason and we all deserve to heal from our trauma, but this is so hard to take in."

Bolleau said she grappled with being part of "Quiet on Set" out of fear that she wouldn't find work after speaking out, but she felt that it's important "that we all begin our healing, now that we have more clarity and truth."

Devon Werkheiser apologized to Bell after he and his costars from 'Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide' joked about the allegations from 'Quiet on Set'

"Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" stars Devon Werkheiser, Lindsey Shaw, and Daniel Curtis Lee at the 19th Kid's Choice Awards in 2006.
"Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" stars Devon Werkheiser, Lindsey Shaw, and Daniel Curtis Lee at the 19th Kid's Choice Awards in 2006.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

"Ned's Declassified" ran for three seasons between 2004 and 2007 on Nickelodeon.

During a TikTok livestream with costars Lindsey Shaw and Daniel Curtis Lee, Werkheiser joked, "Daniel, we told you never to speak about that. Get back in your hole, Daniel, and give me your holes!"

Werkheiser tried to walk back his comment immediately afterward, saying, "Sorry, we shouldn't joke about this. We really shouldn't. Our set was not like that."

Werkheiser said that the allegations were "fucking awful."

"The Drake Bell shit, that's crazy to hear," he said. "That is fucked. And that never came out, which is really wild."

Bell saw the video and slammed Werkheiser after a fan uploaded the livestream on X.

In response, Werkheiser shared an apology on X.

"I was being an idiot today. No way around it," he wrote. "I feel horrible that my dumbass was even speaking about this without seeing it."

"I watched 'Quiet on Set' tonight and am horrified by the gravity of what Drake and others shared," he continued. "Truly heartbroken about what my fellow actors went through. I can't believe they weren't protected. I'm sorry for compounding any hurt."

'Zoey 101' star Jack Salvatore made surprising allegations about his time working on several Nickelodeon shows

Jack Salvatore as Mark Del Figgalo on season one of "Zoey 101."
Jack Salvatore as Mark Del Figgalo on season one of "Zoey 101."Nickelodeon

Salvatore starred as Mark Del Figgalo on "Zoey 101" and the 2023 film sequel "Zoey 102." In a video shared on Instagram, the actor said he also worked as an intern in the production department on "iCarly" and the writers' rooms on "Sam & Cat" and "Victorious."

Salvatore said that "Quiet on Set" did a good job of exposing the workplace toxicity on Schneider's shows. But he also brought up fresh allegations about Schneider.

"We could talk about the massages," he said. "We could talk about the fact that we would literally count his gold coin collection in front of his crew who were living paycheck to paycheck. We could talk about how he would sometimes bring out a shotgun to scare one of the writers when they were working at his house."

Salvatore also said that he overheard "high-level conversations" regarding "iCarly" and "Sam & Cat" star Jennette McCurdy.

"We could talk about the high-level conversations I wasn't supposed to hear about how Nickelodeon didn't want to recommend antidepressants for Jennette McCurdy after her mom died for fear that she might kill herself and make the network look bad," he alleged.

"But what I do want to talk about is never letting this stuff happen again," Salvatore continued. "This is an entire industry built on hope and dreams and adrenaline and wish fulfillment. And that can be a very dangerous thing for megalomaniacs to wield."

Salvatore said that he was "a little afraid" of his career being impacted because of his decision to speak out. Ultimately, he posted the video anyway, "because if my silence ensures the perpetuation of environments I don't want to work in anymore, then what is the point of working in them?"

Salvatore also said that he wouldn't accept Schneider's apology until the producer sat down for a proper interview with real journalists, instead of actor BooG!e, aka Bobby Bowman, who played T-Bo on "iCarly."

(Business Insider has reached out to Schneider but did not receive an immediate response.)

Nancy Sullivan, who played Bell's mom on 'Drake & Josh,' voiced her support for the actor

Nancy Sullivan, Miranda Cosgrove, Josh Peck, Drake Bell, and Jonathan Goldstein of "Drake & Josh" at the 19th Kids' Choice Awards.
Nancy Sullivan, Miranda Cosgrove, Josh Peck, Drake Bell, and Jonathan Goldstein of "Drake & Josh" at the 19th Kids' Choice Awards.SGranitz/WireImage

Sullivan starred on "The Amanda Show" before playing Audrey Parker-Nichols on "Drake & Josh."

"They weren't my real kids, but I'll always love them," Sullivan captioned an old photo of Bell that she posted on Instagram. "It broke my heart into a million pieces to hear just how much Drake was holding inside while we were working together."

"I was both devastated and proud seeing the man he's grown into sit down on camera and bravely tell his truth," she continued. "Past abuse doesn't define us, and it has no right to rule our lives, I know that putting this burden down will free him in so many ways. I hope memories of the joy he had on our shows will someday greatly overshadow the pain."

"Sending love to Drake for a deep healing and for a rich and beautiful life ahead," Sullivan wrote.

Bryan Hearne, a cast member on seasons 7 and 8 of 'All That,' thanked fans for their support

Hearne and his mom, Tracey Brown, both appeared in the docuseries to discuss their experiences on the set of the Nickelodeon show.

"I feel very honored to have been given the opportunity to share my story," Hearne said in a video posted on Instagram. "It's definitely hard as a Black man in Hollywood, let alone a Black child. I couldn't see what my mom was doing for me at the time, but I'm very grateful to her for being the kick-ass mom that she was, that she is."

"I wanted to give a shoutout to every child star," Hearne added. "If you were dealing with your own triggers watching this documentary, I feel you. I'm here for you."

'Game Shakers' star Madisyn Shipman defended Schneider in a lengthy statement posted on Instagram

"Many of the comments I have received in reference to my support of Dan Schneider really has hurt my heart," Shipman wrote. "The way our society judges someone is disheartening to me. I will always stand up for what's right for me and my experience is my experience."

Shipman said that she wasn't trying to discredit the experiences of others who have spoken out, but added that the negative comments directed at her were unfair.

"I will always live my life with a pure heart and speak up for the people that are in my corner and you should too!" she said.

Shipman encouraged producers to "focus on viable information," like Peck going to jail for pedophilia and being hired at Disney Channel after his release, instead of on Schneider.

"If Dan was guilty of anything other than some anger moments which everyone has episodes of at given times then don't you think he would have been charged by now?!" she said.

Abby Wilde, who played Stacey Dillsen on 'Zoey 101,' asked fans not to speculate about people who haven't spoken out

"I want to suggest that anyone who bears a connection to the stories and places in 'Quiet on Set' who hasn't released some sort of statement about it isn't necessarily hiding something, or dismissing it, or somehow complicit in worst of it," she wrote on X and Instagram. "They're probably just grieving."

"Thank you for respecting our privacy during this time," she added. "I'd invite anyone who's interested to direct their attention instead to those who have chosen to share their stories — which are more than enough tragedy for us all, and which deserve our full attention."

'Zoey 101' actor Chris Massey said that his story would be told solely by him

Chris Massey as Michael on season two of "Zoey 101."
Chris Massey as Michael on season two of "Zoey 101."Nickelodeon

"my story will be told from me…. not from a parent, a friend, a co-worker… ME!!! and only ME… so please stop messaging me about what my mom said respectfully," Massey, who played Michael Barret, wrote on his Instagram Story.

Massey's comment was in reference to his mom, Angel Massey, defending Schneider and putting the blame on the parents of the child actors in an Instagram Story of her own.

"I can't thank [Schneider] enough for the opportunity he gave my son @chrismasseytmb and my family," she wrote. "BLAME THE PARENTS NOT DAN."

Allie DiMeco said that she was forced to kiss a much older costar on the set of 'The Naked Brothers Band'

In a video posted on TikTok, DiMeco said that she was stressed watching "Quiet on Set" and experienced trauma of her own when she worked on the Nickelodeon mockumentary series.

DiMeco referenced a scene from one episode in which her character Rosalina kissed a man who was older than her.

"It gives me fucking the ick and it honestly gives me PTSD," she said.

DiMeco, who no longer acts, said that she thinks it's important for sets that have child actors to "create an environment that listens to the kids and actually does not make them do things when they don't want to do them."

DiMeco said that she was vocal about not wanting to kiss the older actor, but ultimately had to go through with it anyway.

"I told them many times that I didn't want to do it," DiMeco said. "My mom was very against it and they pretty much made me feel like I was going to lose my job, that I might be fired if I didn't do it. It was weird."

'All That' star Leon Frierson told Entertainment Weekly that he was satisfied with Schneider's apology

"Overall, I am pleased with Dan Schneider's acknowledgment of wrongdoing and display of humility," Frierson said in a statement to EW. "I participated in the documentary to speak my truth and represent child stars, but I'm not here to judge those implicated for an eternity."

Frierson said that Schneider could have apologized sooner, but the response was "welcomed" regardless.

"However, I can't speak for all those affected by his actions," Frierson added. "Lastly, Dan rightfully pointed out the missteps by the network and shed light on a failed process in terms of the questionable content that was broadcast to the world. To me, it's important to note that his contribution to a toxic work environment does not include sexual crimes and shouldn't necessarily be connected with convicted offenders."

Amber Frank, who starred in 'The Haunted Hathaways,' recalled a 'horrifying' experience during her time working for Nickelodeon

In a video posted on TikTok, Frank said that she had to mentally prepare herself before watching "Quiet on Set." After seeing herself in footage included in the docuseries, Frank said she felt "slightly triggered" and wanted to speak out.

"One of the horrifying things that happened in my experience with Nickelodeon was when Nickelodeon sent computers over to production when we were starting filming the show. And when they were turned on, there was child porn on them," Frank said.

Frank said that there was no accountability or an investigation.

"It's beyond heartbreaking to know that a company that was employing children failed miserably at protecting them," she said. "So I am sending a lot of love to all of the victims involved, and I hope that we can create a very different environment going forward for child actors."

Kenan Thompson said it's a 'tough subject,' but his heart goes out to the people affected while employed at Nickdeloson

Josh Peck, Dan Schneider, and Kenan Thompson in June 2011.
Josh Peck, Dan Schneider, and Kenan Thompson in June 2011.Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Nickelodeon

Long before "Saturday Night Live," Thompson rose to fame as a cast member on Nickelodeon's "All That," and later, as the star of the sitcom "Kenan & Kel." During an appearance on the "Tamron Hall Show" on Wednesday, Thompson was asked to share his thoughts on "Quiet on Set."

"It's tough for me because I can't really speak on things that I've never witnessed," Thompson said, explaining that the allegations featured in the docuseries occurred after he left the network.

Thompson also said that he and Schneider didn't really overlap outside "All That."

"And then all that negativity kind of started happening outside of our tenure there," the actor said. "I wasn't really aware of a lot of it, but my heart goes out to anybody that's been victimized or their families, you know what I mean?"

"I think it's a good thing that the doc is out and it's putting things on display that need to be, stories that need to be told for this, accountability's sake," he continued. "But it's definitely tough to watch because I have fond memories of that place and I have fond memories of my costars and stuff like that. So to hear that they've gone through terrible things like that, it's just, it's really tough."

Thompson also encouraged more investigations.

"It's supposed to be a safe place, you know? It's supposed to be a safe place for kids and to hear all about that it's just like, 'How dare you?'" he said.

Melissa Joan Hart, who starred on the Nickelodeon show 'Clarissa Explains It All,' said that she had a 'wonderful experience' as a teen star

Melissa Joan Hart at the 11th Kids' Choice Awards in April 1998.
Melissa Joan Hart at the 11th Kids' Choice Awards in April 1998.Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Hart reacted to "Quiet on Set" during an appearance on the podcast "Meghan McCain Has Entered the Chat." The actor said she hadn't watched the documentary yet, but she had a positive experience at the network.

"I don't know other people's experiences, and I'm not negating anything anybody else says," Hart said. "I've never been told these people's stories that are in the documentary. And I have to say, I've never heard a story from a Nickelodeon star personally."

Even though Hart hadn't been directly told about the kinds of incidents mentioned in "Quiet on Set," the star said that she trusts and believes those who spoke out.

Hart explained that she worked in Orlando, not Hollywood, from 1989 to 1993 or 1994.

"In Orlando, I had nothing but a wonderful experience," she said, adding that the child actors worked long hours, but she had fun.

"I was surrounded by an amazing crew, an incredible cast that took such good care of me," Hart said. "I mean, these people were protective of me."

'Zoey 101' star Matthew Underwood revealed that he was sexually assaulted by his former agent and asked fans not to 'shame' actors who have remained silent

Matthew Underwood at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday, March 4, 2023.
Matthew Underwood at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday, March 4, 2023.Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Underwood, who starred as Logan Reese on "Zoey 101" and the film sequel, revealed his past experience in a post shared on Instagram. Underwood said that he was sexually harassed and assaulted by his then-agent when he was 19 years old.

"I reported him to the agency and he has since been fired — although he is still active in the industry," he wrote. "This experience provoked my move away from LA and ending my pursuit of acting."

The former actor said that he felt compelled to tell his story publicly because he's been harassed via email with death threats and accusations of being a "pedophile defender." Underwood said that he has "extreme empathy" for people who have been taken advantage of.

"I also ask you all to take a few moments and consider why someone might not share their experiences publicly and not immediately shame them for reserving their right to privacy," he added.

Regarding his time working at Nickelodeon, Underwood said that he didn't have a bad experience on set or with "Zoey 101" creator Schneider.

"I like to believe people have the capacity to be better humans and Dan appears to recognize that he had been an asshole in the past," Underwood said. "I like to believe he is fully capable of being a creator and coworker everyone can enjoy working with."

Underwood reiterated that he doesn't support pedophiles and asked people to stop harassing actors who haven't spoken out.

"Please stop wishing death upon my family and please reconsider harassing other actors who wish to maintain their privacy — you never know who has already been a victim of the hell you're wishing upon them," he concluded.

'All That' stars Hearne, Giovonnie Samuels, and Shane Lyons appeared in the bonus fifth episode of 'Quiet on Set' and spoke about the fallout from the docuseries

Giovonnie Samuels and Bryan Hearne during episode five of "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV."
Giovonnie Samuels and Bryan Hearne during episode five of "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV."Investigation Discovery

Hearne and Samuels told journalist Soledad O'Brien that they've received plenty of support since speaking out. Samuels also described the reaction from fans as "overwhelming" in a positive way, to the point that she needed to take a step back from social media.

The actors also reacted to Schneider's apology video. Hearne said that he felt the former Nickelodeon producer "brushed off some chops and gave us a nice performance." Samuels revealed that Schneider reached out to her prior to the docuseries' release, hoping she'd voice her support and speak positively about him.

Lyons spoke out for the first time, saying he felt "blessed" and "lucky" that he didn't experience sexual abuse from Peck. But he said that "there were certainly some passes."

He described Peck as charming and said he was "enamored" that there was an adult cast member the young actors could work with.

Shane Lyons and Soledad O'Brien during the bonus fifth episode of "Quiet on Set."
Shane Lyons and Soledad O'Brien during the bonus fifth episode of "Quiet on Set."Investigation Discovery

Lyons also said that when he was 13 or 14 years old, Peck had an inappropriate conversation with him about blue balls.

"As I think back now as an adult, as a 36-year-old, would I ever have a conversation with a 13-year-old boy like he had with me? No, it makes absolutely zero sense," Lyons said. "They're kids, why are you talking like that"

Business Insider reached out to Nickelodeon but did not receive a response.

'All That' star Lori Beth Denberg said that she and Schneider had a 'weird, abusive friendship'

Lori Beth Denberg on All That
Lori Beth Denberg on "All That."Nickelodeon

Denberg, who starred in four seasons of "All That" between 1994 and 1998, didn't directly speak about "Quiet on Set," but she recalled her experience working with Schneider in a new interview with BI's Taylor.

In her interview, Denberg said that Schneider was inappropriate with her on multiple occasions, showing her porn, including a video of a woman performing oral sex on a donkey, and initiating phone sex with her. She also said she had sleepovers at Schneider's home, but they weren't sexually intimate, though they gave each other massages and he played porn on his computer.

Denberg said that their "weird, abusive friendship," turned sexual when she was around 20 or 21, when Schneider fondled and put his mouth on her breasts at his home.

She said that Schneider was prone to lashing out on the set of "All That" and feared retaliation if she refused him.

In a statement to BI, Schneider said Denberg's accusations are "wildly exaggerated and, in most cases, false."

"As I have previously stated, there were times, particularly in the early years of my career, that I made mistakes and exhibited poor judgment as a leader," Schneider said. "If I did that with respect to Lori Beth, I sincerely apologize to her. But I cannot apologize for things I did not do."

'Zoey 101' and 'Victorious' star Victoria Justice said that she was 'treated unfairly' by Schneider and acknowledged that some of the show's jokes 'were in poor taste'

tori vega victorious
Victoria Justice as Tori Vega on "Victorious."Nickelodeon

In a new interview with Marie Claire, Justice reflected on her years working at Nickelodeon and reacted to "Quiet on Set."

"Something that was very evident in the documentary is that Dan had a very large ego, and sometimes that ego clouded his better judgment and affected the way he treated people, and there were times I felt like I was being treated unfairly," she said.

Justice said that she didn't have any inappropriate sexual experiences, but conceded that Schneider's shows contained moments that "were in poor taste."

The actor said that she watched Schneider's video and felt that she was one of the people who deserved an apology from him.

Justice said that her relationship with Schneider is "complex" because she's grateful that he gave her her big break in Hollywood, but she doesn't condone his behavior.

"After watching his apology, I think he recognizes that he did a lot of things wrong, and I think if he could step back into a time machine, he would do a lot of things differently," she said.

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