Drake Bell criticises Nickelodeon's response to Quiet on Set abuse

drake bell
Drake Bell criticises Nickelodeon over abuseMichael Tran - Getty Images

The following article contains discussion of sexual abuse of children.

Drake & Josh star Drake Bell has criticised Nickelodeon's response to his abuse revelations in the recent TV documentary Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.

The series, which is available to watch now in the UK on Discovery+, presented the stories of both child actors and adult crew who are said to have endured workplace misconduct on the sets of various Nickelodeon shows run by producer Dan Schneider.

Bell, who starred in Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show and Drake & Josh as a teenager, spoke for the first time publicly in the documentary about being abused by dialogue coach Brian Peck.

Peck was convicted in 2004 of a lewd act against a child and oral copulation of a person under 16, with Bell giving testimony as part of Peck's trial.

In response to the revelations in Quiet on Set, a Nickelodeon spokesperson said: "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."

drake bell
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The network statement also said it "cannot corroborate or negate allegations of behaviors from productions decades ago", but remains committed to "fostering a safe and professional workplace environment free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct".

Bell has since been critical of that statement during an appearance on The Sarah Fraser Show, where he said Nickelodeon hasn't been supportive enough over his ordeal.

"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 what had happened, or anything," he argued. "So I think that was a really well-tailored response by probably some big attorney in Hollywood."

The actor went on: "I find it pretty empty, their responses, because, I mean, they still show our shows, they still put our shows on. And I have to pay for my own therapy, I have to figure out what — I mean if there was anything, 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.”

Bell's Drake & Josh co-star Josh Peck (no relation to Brian Peck) spoke out last week to explain that "reliving" his friend's trauma has been "incredibly difficult".

josh peck and drake bell
Frazer Harrison/KCA2014 - Getty Images

"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," Peck said.

Belle has also received an apology from the cast of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, after it appeared they'd made fun of Bell's trauma during a podcast taping.

Separate from his experience at Nickelodeon, Bell pled guilty to a misdemeanour charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles in regards to inappropriate text messages sent to a teenager in 2017.

Digital Spy has reached out to Nickelodeon for a response to Bell.

While Bell's allegations are separate from the workplace complaints against Dan Schneider, the former Nickelodeon producer was accused by former staffers of cultivating abuse, inappropriate behaviour and a toxic work environment.

In response, Schneider said in a YouTube video: "Seeing the hurt in some people's eyes... made me feel awful and regretful and sorry."

Quiet on Set aired on Investigation Discovery in the US and can be watched in the UK on Discovery+.

If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.

Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.

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