Drake Bell Claims Nickelodeon Gave ‘Empty’ Response to Doc

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Drake Bell
Rich Fury/WireImage

Drake Bell is disappointed in Nickelodeon following their “pretty empty” response to the Investigation Discovery documentary, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, in which he details his sexual abuse by dialogue and acting coach Brian Peck.

The Drake & Josh alum, 37, spoke out for the first time since the docuseries’ release in a new episode of “The Sarah Fraser Show” podcast on Friday, March 22, claiming of the kids network: “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. So I think that was a really well-tailored response by probably some big attorney in Hollywood.”

“I find it pretty empty, their responses,” Bell added, “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.”

After Quiet on Set was released, Nickelodeon shared a statement:

Nickelodeon Doc Quiet on Set Reveals Why Amanda Bynes and Dan Schneider Stopped Working Together

Related: Nickelodeon Doc ‘Quiet on Set’ Reveals Why Amanda Bynes and Dan Schneider Stoppe…

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV explored what caused actress Amanda Bynes and producer Dan Schneider to stop working together. The Investigation Discovery docuseries, which will air on Sunday, March 17, and Monday, March 18, features interviews with former Nickelodeon cast and crew members about Bynes and Schneider’s professional relationship. Schneider, 58, […]

“Though we cannot corroborate or negate allegations of behaviors from productions decades ago, Nickelodeon as a matter of policy investigates all formal complaints as part of our commitment to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct,” the statement read.“Our highest priorities are the well-being and best interests not just of our employees, casts and crew, but of all children, and we have adopted numerous safeguards over the years to help ensure we are living up to our own high standards and the expectations of our audience.”

The network added of Bell: “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.”

In Quiet on Set, Bell details his alleged abuse by Peck, who has no relation to Bell’s former Nickelodeon costar Josh Peck. Brian allegedly groomed and assaulted Bell when the actor was 15, with the child star saying in the doc that the abuse was “extensive” and “brutal.”

Drake Bell Isn't Satisfied With Nickelodeon's ‘Pretty Empty’ Response to 'Quiet on Set'

Drake Bell attends the 9th Annual American Society of Young Musician”s Spring Benefit concert on May 31, 2001 in Los Angeles.
Gary Livingston/Getty Images

Brian was arrested in August 2003 after he was accused of sexually abusing a then-unnamed child. He pleaded no contest to performing a lewd act with a victim around 14 or 15 years old and to oral copulation with a child under 16 years old, which resulted in a 16-month prison sentence.

Quiet on Set also revealed allegations of emotional abuse and sexualization of child actors against Nickelodeon executive and Drake & Josh creator Dan Schneider, which he addressed in a video released after the doc premiered last week.

“Watching over the past two nights was very difficult,” Schneider, 58, said in an interview with iCarly alum BooG!e on Tuesday, March 19. “Me facing my past behaviors, some of which are embarrassing and that I regret, and I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology.”

Schneider also denied the toxic workplace accusations in a statement released by his spokesperson: “Everything that happened on the shows Dan ran was carefully scrutinized by dozens of involved adults, and approved by the network. Had there been any scenes or outfits that were inappropriate in any way, they would have been flagged and blocked by this multilayered scrutiny.”

“Remember, all stories, dialogue, costumes, and makeup were fully approved by network executives on two coasts. A standards and practices group read and ultimately approved every script, and programming executives reviewed and approved all episodes,” continued the statement. “In addition, every day on every set, there were always parents and caregivers and their friends watching filming and rehearsals.”

Several hours after Bell’s interview with Fraser, he shared a song via X on Saturday, March 23, that he reportedly wrote following Brian’s abuse. The lyrics, in part, read: “And where have you been since it’s been over / Over my shoulder under my skin / Will you ever return there again / Wake up, the monsters in your head have left you all to yourself / It’s alright if ugly little things remind you how it felt.”

“This was my escape,” Bell wrote via X.

Drake Bell Isn't Satisfied With Nickelodeon's ‘Pretty Empty’ Response to 'Quiet on Set'

Drake Bell.
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Bell told Fraser there’s “been a lot of processing” this week as his story aired, and that he, luckily, has a strong support system to help him cope with the chatter around the project. He was initially very afraid to share his experience this way, but one of the Quiet on Set directors, Emma Schwartz, made him feel comfortable and confident to open up publicly.

“I don’t know what it was, but Emma was very sensitive and we kind of became ‘buddies’ before,” he explained on the Friday podcast. “I could tell that she was coming from a genuine place when we started our back and forth. And it wasn’t at an angle of ‘what do I have to say to get him involved’ … I really felt a comfort with her.”

Quiet on Set Docuseries Pulls Back the Curtain on Nickelodeon s Past Toxic Work Environment 885

Related: ‘Quiet on Set’ Docuseries Exposes Nickelodeon’s Past Toxic Environment

Investigation Discovery/YouTube Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV gives former child stars and crew members the opportunity to speak out about their negative experiences at Nickelodeon. Investigation Discovery’s docuseries, which will air on Sunday, March 17, and Monday, March 18, focuses specifically on producer Dan Schneider’s infamous reign at the network. Schneider, […]

Bell went on to say that it felt good to tell someone other than a family member about his experience, and that the initial talks with Schwartz led him to seek treatment.

“I just felt really comfortable in that interview, but I was going through so much in my personal life and after that interview I ended up checking myself into rehab,” Bell said. “We were going through a lot of trauma therapy, a lot of group therapy, a lot of one-on-one therapy — your entire day was filled with working through and processing this with a clear mind, and unearthing all of these things that I hadn’t faced head-on, or if I had tried to, it was too painful. And so through that process, once I got out, I thought to myself, ‘Maybe this is a good time to reach back out to them and say hey, I’m not 100% yet, let’s talk some more, but I’m getting closer to feeling comfortable with finally sharing my story.’”

A lot of former Nickelodeon stars have shared support for Bell following the doc’s release, with his longtime costar Josh Peck writing via Instagram on Thursday, March 21: “I reached out to Drake privately, but wanted 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. Children should be protected. Reliving this publicly is incredibly difficult, but I hope it can bring healing for the victims and their families as well as necessary change to our industry.”

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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