Drake Bell and other former Nickelodeon stars allege toxic environment in new docuseries

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Nickelodeon went done a aureate play successful nan precocious '90s and early '00s, churning retired celebrated shows for illustration “All That” and “iCarly” pinch nan thief of its hit-making shaper Dan Schneider.

But a caller documentary bid featuring respective erstwhile kid stars is bringing distant allegations of a toxic activity situation connected immoderate of Schneider’s erstwhile celebrated Nick shows. 

“Quiet connected Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV,” which will aerial connected Investigation Discovery connected March 17 and 18, comes 2 years aft Business Insider interviewed respective group who worked straight pinch Schneider. The study described alleged gender favoritism and an wide dispute activity environment. That aforesaid year, ​​former “iCarly” prima Jennette McCurdy made headlines aft nan merchandise of her memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” successful which she besides touched connected nan darker broadside of being a kid actor.

The four-part docuseries dives deeper into nan allegations first reported by Business Insider successful 2022, interviewing a wide array of people, including 2 female writers astir nan gender favoritism suit they revenge against nan network, and character Drake Bell.  

Schneider parted ways pinch Nickelodeon successful 2018. He does not look successful nan docuseries, but responded to respective allegations made pinch written statements aired passim nan show.

A typical for Nickelodeon did not respond to a petition for comment. 

A spokesperson for Schneider told NBC News successful an email that he was nan “biggest champion” for kid actors connected these shows.

Show creator and executive shaper Dan Schneider discusses a segment pinch stars Victoria Justice and Avan JogiaShow creator and executive shaper Dan Schneider during a taping of Nickelodeon's "Victorious" successful Hollywood, Calif., successful 2009.Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file

“Dan has said himself that he was a reliable leader to activity for and, if he could do things complete again, he would enactment differently,” a spokesperson for Schneider said. “But let’s beryllium clear, erstwhile Dan departed Nickelodeon, a afloat investigation was done and again, each that was recovered is that he was a challenging, reliable and demanding personification to activity for and with, thing else.”

In a connection made via Schneider's team, Russell Hicks, erstwhile president of contented and accumulation astatine Nickelodeon, called Schneider “one of nan astir prolific producers of deed tv successful nan kids and family intermezo business.” Hicks near Nickelodeon successful 2016. 

“There is simply a standards and practices group that sounds each book and programming executives looking astatine each episode,” Hicks said successful a statement. “Add to that each time connected each set, were nan parents and caregivers and their friends watching each azygous framework of footage and listening to each joke. Every azygous point that Dan ever did connected immoderate of his shows was cautiously scrutinized and approved by executives astatine Nickelodeon.”

Bell alleges Nickelodeon speech coach sexually abused him

In nan docuseries, Bell, who starred successful nan show “Drake and Josh,” comes guardant pinch accusations against speech coach Brian Peck for nan first time. 

According to nan docuseries, Peck was a adjacent collaborator of Schneider connected “All That” and “The Amanda Show,” nan second of which Bell appeared connected regularly. 

Peck was arrested successful 2003 for “lewd acts pinch a child,” according to a news merchandise from nan Los Angeles Police Department. The merchandise said that Peck had molested an unidentified insignificant he had worked pinch complete a play of six months. 

After pleading nary contest, Peck was convicted of lewd aliases lascivious acts pinch a 14- aliases 15-year-old child, and oral copulation pinch a insignificant nether 16, according to a lawsuit summary from nan Los Angeles County Superior Court. He was sentenced to 16 months successful prison.

A typical for Peck did not respond to a petition for comment. 

The minor, who was antecedently identified arsenic John Doe, is revealed to beryllium Bell successful nan docuseries. Representatives for Bell did not respond to a petition for comment. 

“The maltreatment was extended and it sewage beautiful brutal. I don’t cognize really to elaborate connected that connected camera really,” Bell says successful nan docuseries. 

Bell said that he initially believed that speaking retired against Peck would extremity his career. He besides said nan maltreatment “led to a batch of self-destruction and a batch of self-loathing.”

In 2021, Bell was sentenced to two years of probation for kid endangerment aft he was accused of “grooming” a female unfortunate starting erstwhile she was 12. He pleaded guilty to felony attempted kid endangerment and a misdemeanor complaint for disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. 

In nan docuseries, Bell says, “I took work for that. I did what was asked of me, but nan media grabbed a clasp of truthful overmuch misinformation and it perfectly destroyed me.”

Dialogue coach reportedly received letters of support from Hollywood stars 

Bell said that Peck had a batch of supporters connected his broadside of nan courtroom during his sentencing hearing. 

The erstwhile speech coach besides received letters of support from respective actors, according to nan docuseries.

Among those successful nan courtroom were “Boy Meets World” stars Will Friedle and Rider Strong.

Friedle and Strong, who did not respond to a petition for comment, precocious walked backmost their support of Peck successful an section of their podcast “Pod Meets World.” 

“We’re sitting successful that courtroom connected nan incorrect broadside of everything,” Friedle said successful nan Feb. 19 episode.

The docuseries besides reports that Peck received support letters from Rich and Beth Correll, who later served arsenic a head and adjunct head connected nan Disney Channel show “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” 

Peck, who is listed arsenic a registered activity offender, later worked connected “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," wherever he performed voiceover activity that was recorded successful a voiceover studio. Disney fired Peck aft proceeding of his conviction, and replaced his sound and on-screen credits connected nan 3 episodes he had recorded.

A representatives for Disney declined to comment.

The Corrells said “they had nary input aliases engagement successful nan casting” of Peck connected nan show successful a connection aired successful nan docuseries. Representatives for nan Corrells did not respond to a petition for comment. 

Neither Schneider nor Nickelodeon executives wrote letters of support for Peck, according to nan docuseries. Bell said that Schneider supported him during this time. 

In consequence to nan allegations put distant successful nan docuseries, Nickelodeon told nan docuseries producers that it “investigates each general complaints arsenic portion of our committedness to fostering a safe and master workplace ... We person adopted galore safeguards complete nan years to thief guarantee we are surviving up to our ain precocious standards and nan expectations of our audience.”

Former kid actors allege unsafe moving environment 

Leon Frierson, who worked connected ”All That,” which was created by Schneider, alleges successful nan docuseries that nan shaper played favorites.

“He made it known who was connected his bully side,” Frierson, who did not respond to NBC News’ petition for comment, says successful nan docuseries.

A fistful of different erstwhile kid actors make akin allegations astir Schneider successful nan docuseries. 

“Zoey 101” formed personnel Alexa Nikolas, who was interviewed for nan docuseries, said she felt she was sometimes put successful complete sexually suggestive scenes. She specifically recalled a segment that featured her characteristic squirting goop onto her co-star Jamie Lynn Spears’ face. At nan time, Nikolas alleged that immoderate of her antheral castmates remarked that it looked for illustration a “cum shot.”

The docuseries besides shows a clip of Ariana Grande from “Victorious” successful which she squeezes a murphy and moans. Fans of nan creator person antecedently called out nan clip, among respective others, online. 

A spokesperson for Schneider told NBC News “every segment was approved by nan web and these shows are each still being aired today. If location was an existent problem, they would beryllium taken down, but they aerial perpetually each complete nan world, enjoyed by kids and parents.”

Representatives for Nikolas and Grande did not respond to requests for comment.

Former ‘Amanda Show’ writers declare gender discrimination 

Two female writers who worked connected “The Amanda Show” successful 1999 allege that nan accumulation was a dispute situation for women. 

Jenny Kilgen and Christy Stratton were nan sole female writers connected nan sketch drama show, which starred Amanda Bynes. 

At nan time, Stratton said that location “weren’t a batch of positions for women successful sketch comedy.” She alleged that Schneider told she and Kilgen that women aren’t funny. 

The writers besides alleged that Schneider would regularly inquire female unit connected “The Amanda Show” to massage him, a declare that was first reported successful nan Business Insider story. 

They besides said he would taxable them to intersexual jokes. In 1 instance, Kilgen said Schneider instructed Stratton to simulate being sodomized while telling a communicative astir precocious schoolhouse because Schneider believed it “would beryllium funny.” Stratton said she didn’t want to talk nan incident and that she’s “not proud of it.” 

“You ever felt for illustration disagreeing pinch Dan aliases opinionated up for yourself could consequence successful you getting fired,” Kilgen said.

Kilgen and Stratton besides alleged that Schneider made them divided their net pinch each different during nan first season. Kilgen said she was invited backmost for nan 2nd play connected a 16-week statement and asked to activity nan remaining 11 weeks of nan play for free.

Kilgen later sued Storybook Productions, which produced “The Amanda Show,” for gender discrimination. An excerpt of nan suit that airs successful nan documentary shows that Kilgen alleged that executive shaper Schneider denied her adjacent pay. Stratton wrote a missive supporting Kilgen’s relationship of favoritism connected nan show. The suit was settled for an undisclosed amount, according to nan docuseries. 

Schneider denied having power complete salaries connected nan show successful a connection aired successful nan docuseries. 

Stratton said she was fired astatine nan extremity of nan first season. Kilgen supported this declare successful nan docuseries. 

Kilgen and Stratton did not respond to requests for comment.

Daysia Tolentino

Daysia Tolentino is simply a civilization and trends newsman for NBC News.