Quiet On the Set

The new docuseries reveals the trauma of some of their favorite Nickelodeon stars.
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 14: Actor / Singer Drake Bell arrives for the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Glenn Francis/Pacific Pro Digital Photography)

LOS ANGELES – MARCH 14: Actor / Singer Drake Bell arrives for the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Glenn Francis/Pacific Pro Digital Photography) WikiCommons
Glenn Francis

“Quiet on Set” is a newly released docuseries detailing the life behind the child actors who worked for the “golden years” of Nickelodeon (1990’1-early 2000’s), and the accusations of a hostile work environment, inappropriate jokes, and putting children in dangerous and exploitive positions.

The docuseries, now streaming on subscription services or on Xfinity On Demand with ID network and HBO Max (MAX), makes salacious claims by the former actors who worked for Nickelodeon such as Drake Bell, Amanda Bynes, and Ariana Grande.  These allegations have come to light with the docuseries but supposedly the rumors of these claims have been heavily circulated in the industry for many years.

Amanda Bynes Via WikiCommons

Dan Schnieder, writer and producer for Nickelodeon, was born in Memphis Tennessee, in 1966. He was always a fat kid who even his parents didn’t think would be successful. He did some acting roles in the 1980’s, including “Head of Class,” which helped launch his career in Nickelodeon.

Later, he became writer and producer for hits such as “ALL That,” “Amanda Show,” “Jake and Josh,” and “ICarly.” It is these shows where he has been accused of putting children in sexually subjective skits and scenes. People of color were put into stereotypical roles.

Allegations also include making women feel uncomfortable by asking for massages and making women who spoke up against him, especially around other people, feel dehumanized and in fear of losing their jobs. He apparently drove wedges between families and young actors and paid women half the salary that a man would be earn.

Producers and on-set production assistants hired by Dan Schnieder also face controversy including Jason Handy, Brian Peck, and, most notably, Ezel Channel who had priors of sex offenses before being hired at Nickelodeon in 2009.

Jason Handy was arrested in 2003 when they raided his home over inappropriate behavior with child actors on the set.  Handy began an email correspondence with young girls, one in which a mother of the victim details the graphic material as a nude photo of Handy masturbating. In Jason Handy’s home, they found over 10,000 images of children, along with a Ziploc baggie of “trophies” from his victims such as the undergarments of a 7-year-old victim. Handy was convicted of two felonies and one misdemeanor.

Brian Peck, by all reports, was beloved by both staff and actors who worked with him. It seems to have really come as a surprise when the allegations came to light in 2003 when Brain Peck was arrested on 11 counts, including lewd act upon a minor, sodomy of a person under 16 years old, sexual penetration by a foreign object, four counts of oral copulation of a person under 16 years old, oral copulation by anesthesia or controlled substance, sending harmful matter, and using a minor for sexual acts.

In 2004, Peck was sentenced to 16 months in prison, and ordered to register as a sex offender. The producers of the ID docuseries found out that the people at Nickelodeon were asked to write letters of support.

“Quiet on the Set” unsealed hidden documents to reveal that Jake Bell was the victim that came forward with accusations.

Ezel Channel was convicted in 2009 for abusing a boy on the lot in 2005. He also had prior convictions of sex offenses before being hired at Nickelodeon.

It’s important to note that Dan Schnieder himself has not been accused of sexually abusing any minor on set.

The most damaging allegations come from the co-workers who were forced to give him massages, making people feel worthless making inappropriate jokes, and having children in sexually subjective manners. The parents were not allowed to be around their children on set, a policy that put children in the care of sexual predators.

The aftermath of the Schnider terror has led to many people’s lives being ruined for years, if not forever.

Amanda Bynes has been in hiding for many years until coming out recently with reports of the emotional toll suffered from time with Nickelodeon.

Dan Scheider wearing the blue jeans.
VIA WikiCommons

Jake Bell has been in movies such as “Superhero Movie” (2008) and “College” (2008), and his most recent film is as a voice actor where he voices the rabbit Oscar in “The Big Trip” (2019). Jake Bell has struggled with addiction, moving in and out of rehab, due to the abuse that took place while he was a shooting star. In 2021 Jake Bell was arrested and sentenced to two years probation for child endangerment where a woman he went on a date with in Ohio claims that he had been “grooming” her since she was 12 years old. Jake Bell has denied these accusations, claiming they are greatly distorted.

This docuseries shines a light on an industry that has had a huge influence on the culture of America with the power to shape and mold minds from the very young to the old. We all may have a love-hate relationship with the entertainment and television industry, but it’s also something we can’t seem to get away from.

Most of us grew up watching these shows, loving characters and seemingly having a bond with a network that behind the scenes may have been insidiously evil.

This should be a reminder for all of us that at any age, at any job, and for the promise or high hopes of stardom, of being rich and famous and making it to the Hollywood walk of stars, forever immortalized on the screen and in the community of the thespians.

The abuse that took place at Nickelodeon, under the alleged direction of Dan Schnieder, appears to be systemic, meaning lots of people looked  the other way and allowed this type of behavior to continue for years.

“Quiet On Set” is just beginning. Jake Bell is set to tell more of his story in an upcoming episode, and more actors from other Nickelodeon shows are set to make appearances and tell more. Stay tuned.

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