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'Quiet on Set' reveals horrors behind the scenes at Nickelodeon

"Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV" is a four-part documentary about the mistreatment of employees at the popular kid's television network Nickelodeon. The series reveals horrific allegations against dialogue coach Brian Peck and producer Dan Schneider by former child actors and writers on the network. The docuseries can be streamed on MAX and Discovery+

Dan Schneider 

Dan Schneider is a former Nickelodeon producer and screenwriter. He worked on multiple shows for the network, including "All That," "The Amanda Show," "Zoey 101," "Drake & Josh," "iCarly" and "Victorious." Nickelodeon hired Schneider in 1993 and remained with the network until 2018. Allegations against Schneider include racism, sexism and creating a toxic work environment.

Often, scenes that Schneider wrote pushed for sexual references and child actors dressed in age-inappropriate clothing. Schneider was also known to write scenes that showcased actors' bare feet and even posted pictures of female actors' feet online. 

Jenny Kilgen and Christy Stratton were the only two female writers during the first season of "The Amanda Show." In the documentary, the writers described Schneider's disturbing behaviors during their time with the network.   

Kilgen said Scheinder showed her pornography on his computer and repeatedly asked her for massages. In exchange, he would put one of her sketches on the show. 

The two women were also expected to split a single salary and Schneider threatened Kilgen when she reported her salary to the Writer's Guild of America. 

Giovonnie Samuels and Bryan Hearne starred in "All That" in 2001 and acted in sketches written by Schneider. Samuels said those sketches were torture for them. Hearne and Samuels said their objections about some of the sketches were ignored. One required Hearne to be submerged in peanut butter, which dogs would then lick off. 

In a sketch that required him to wear a skin tone costume, Hearne said someone told him the skin tone should be "charcoal." 

"Quiet on Set" is not the first time allegations have surfaced about Schneider. Jennette McCurdy, former star of "iCarly" and "Sam & Cat," talked about her experiences on set with Schneider in her 2022 memoir, "I'm Glad My Mom Died."

McCurdy never explicitly mentions Schneider's name, but she frequently refers to someone she calls "The Creator." Schneider created both "iCarly" and "Sam & Cat."

McCurdy says "The Creator" was "mean-spirited, controlling and terrifying." She also said she was pressured into underage drinking, and "The Creator" was prone to throwing tantrums on set. 

Another child star known to have suffered under Schneider's leadership is Amanda Bynes. Bynes originally worked on "All That" before starring in "The Amanda Show" in 1999. Since the premiere of "Quiet on Set," old tweets allegedly written by Bynes reveal that Schneider may have abused her.

One tweet says, "Can you imagine having an abortion at 13 because your boss impregnated you. Committed because your father touched you." 

While the account is unconfirmed to be Bynes, she was 13 when she started "The Amanda Show." The Twitter account was created under the alias Ashley Banks, and one of the tweets included a picture of Bynes' photo ID. 

Bynes reportedly declined to appear on "Quiet on Set."

In response to the release of the documentary, Schneider said, "The main thing I would change is how I treat people and everyone. I definitely didn't give people the best of me. I didn't show enough patience. I could be cocky and definitely overambitious and sometimes just straight-up rude and obnoxious, and I am sorry that I ever was." 

Brian Peck

Another notable name in the documentary was Brian Peck, dialogue coach on "All That" and "The Amanda Show." 

Peck was arrested in August 2003 for "lewd acts with a child" after a minor's family reported that Peck had molested a child over six months. "Quiet on Set" revealed the child was former Nickelodeon star, Drake Bell. 

Bell starred on "The Amanda Show" when he was 12 and starred in "Drake & Josh" nearly five years later. Bell revealed that Peck manipulated him and his mother into cutting ties with his father, who was his manager at the time. 

Peck convinced Bell's mother to let Bell sleep over at his house after driving him to and from auditions. Bell recalls sleeping on Peck's couch and waking up to being sexually assaulted. The abuse continued until Bell eventually told his mother what was going on after Peck repeatedly tried to get the role of Bell's father on "Drake & Josh." 

Peck was sentenced to 16 months in prison in 2005 and was required to register on the sex offenders list after pleading no contest. After his sentence, Peck was hired by Disney to work on "The Suite Life of Zach & Cody," but was fired shortly after when the network learned about his conviction in 2006

In 2021, Bell pleaded guilty to a felony charge of "attempted child endangerment" and a misdemeanor of "disseminating matter harmful to juveniles" after sending inappropriate text messages to a minor. 

Bell was sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service. The victim alleged that Bell started grooming her when she was 12 and sexually abused her when she was 15. 

On "Quiet on Set," Bell said he took responsibility for the charges and did what was asked of him, but "the media grabbed a hold of so much misinformation and it absolutely destroyed me."

Bell was also accused of abuse by his ex-girlfriend in 2020, but he denied these allegations at the time. Bell is currently focusing on his music career and just released his new song, "I Kind of Relate." 

Overall, "Quiet on Set" seems to barely scratch the surface of what was going on behind the scenes at Nickelodeon. There are possibly countless horrific stories from former child actors that are still untold. 

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