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“Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” reveals the truth behind Nickelodeon

Amanda Schubert
“Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” was released on March 17, detailing the abuse and mistreatment that happened to child actors who appeared on shows from the channel Nickelodeon.

Beginning in the early 2000s, the television channel Nickelodeon quickly rose to fame with hit shows such as “iCarly,” “Victorious” and “Drake and Josh.” The person responsible for creating these shows was Dan Schneider, a director who has been charged in the past with unprofessional and inappropriate behaviors in the workplace. The documentary “Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” explores the truth of what happened to child actors behind the screens. 

In 2018, Schneider parted ways with Nickelodeon with a $7 million payout and disappeared from public view, after he was accused of creating a toxic work environment. Allegations against him resurfaced as the #MeToo movement, a social movement advocating and supporting survivors of sexual harassment and assault, became more well known. Three years later, he appeared for the first time since he left Nickelodeon and was interviewed in The New York Times, where he denied the allegations that were previously set against him. 

The allegations fizzled down until Jennete Mccurdy, an actor who starred in “Sam and Cat” and “iCarly,” came out with her first memoir in 2022, “I’m Glad My Mom Died.” Although she didn’t directly refer to Dan Schneider, she wrote about a powerful and controlling person she called “The Creator.” McCurdy said that “The Creator” pushed her boundaries and made her do uncomfortable things like drinking underage and explicitly asking that bikinis be included in a wardrobe fitting. 

Less than a month after Mccurdy’s book was published, Business Insider did an investigation on Schenider’s behavior and accusations against him by former child actors. The investigation found that many teenagers who worked under him felt that he fostered a controlling and traumatizing environment. “Schneider often scared and humiliated his crew members and young casts,” an article by The Washington Post states, “In the making of shows such as ‘iCarly’ and ‘Victorious,’ Schneider filmed behind-the-scenes videos in which he invades actors’ personal space and makes them uncomfortable.”

Around two decades after some of Schneider’s hit shows came out, the allegations against him, as well as his coworkers, were discussed in detail on “Quiet On Set.” 

Sage Colley, a sophomore at Lincoln, says that her viewpoint has shifted after learning about the allegations behind some of her childhood shows.

“I don’t want to watch them anymore and it’s changing my perspective on the shows. Kids should be working in environments that are safe,”  said Colley.

As discussed in the documentary and in an article by United Nations News, abuse and mistreatment is common within Hollywood media featuring children, because of the power creators have over the children in vulnerable positions.  

According to Kate Taylor in a Business Inside article, “There are not enough protections in place to keep even convicted sexual predators off of kids’ TV shows.” 

She talked about how the issue is systemic and with a lack of laws that keep children safe, a cycle of abuse continues to be present.  

“Quiet On Set” tells the once untold story of Nickelodeon, one that spreads awareness about the recurring issues happening within kids’ television.

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About the Contributor
Amanda Schubert
Amanda Schubert, Design Editor
Amanda is a sophomore this year. She is excited to work with the staff and be a part of the class community and loves to write opinion pieces and sports articles. She also really enjoys designing.
Contact by emailing [email protected] and put the reporter's name in the subject line.

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