Breaking News
Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

What safety precautions need to be taken to protect child actors?


On March 18th, an investigative documentary titled “Quiet on Set” was released on several different streaming platforms. Covering the topic of child actors, and how they were treated on Nickelodeon sets from the 1990’s-2000’s. Described as “the untold story of the toxic and abusive environment inside ’90s kids’ TV. Hear harrowing accounts from former child stars and crew who probe the balance of power in the industry and reveal an era that inflicted lasting wounds still felt today.” 

Amanda Bynes is a great example of a child star who was done wrongly by the industry. She was first discovered by Nickelodeon’s producer Dan Schneider. He took her in as a 10 year old, and gave her a role on the show “All That”. She completed several seasons as a supporting actress, when Schneider pitched a lead role for her on “The Amanda Show”. 

Bynes’ parents were extremely involved in her stardom, which should have protected her from the evil that came to her. Though nothing is confirmed, Bynes herself, tweeted that her boss Dan Schnieder had sexually assaulted her at 13 years old, “Can you imagine having an abortion at 13 because your boss impregnated you?”. Though her parents were allegedly protecting her, they silenced her on this topic in order to continue her rise to fame. Leading Bynes to file for emancipation at 17 years old. 

This isn’t the only case of sexual assault in child stars on Nickelodeon. Drake Bell (15 at the time), star of TV series “Drake and Josh”, was sexually assaulted by acting coach Brian Peck. 

What’s sad about his case was his father (and manager) had noticed Peck’s interest in his son. When he brought attention to the matter, he was asked to no longer come on set with his son, and to also give up his managing position. Raising a lot of suspicion, as to if the children on these shows were protected at all. 

When Drake Bell’s dad took a step back from his acting career, is when the abuse started. Going on for several months, Bell felt he couldn’t do anything about it. Describing the abuse as “the worst stuff somebody could do to a person.”

What was being done to protect these young stars? Both of them were told to be silent after the fact, and even the prevention brought up by Bell’s father was silenced. Both of these stars have struggled profusely throughout their lives, due to this trauma at such a young age. Raising the question, is anything being done to prevent this from happening again?

Based on the fact that Schneider faced no jail time, and Peck started working on a Disney set immediately after his release date; the answer would be no. The sad truth is, within the industry, as long as a production is successful, any and all problems will be silenced to keep the success rolling. Whether that means ruining the lives of children, and permitting abuse on a children’s television network. 

Not only is this devastating for the kids who were affected, but it is unfair. Audiences who grew up watching these shows have been heartbroken after finding this news out. A quote that really stood out was, “They gave up their childhoods so that we could have one”- unknown. This could not be more true, these childhood stars were destroyed, and robbed of childhoods so that the audiences could have a good one. 

When will it be time to enforce the rules that protect these innocent children from facing a lifetime of remorse and suffering.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Haley Merrill
Haley Merrill, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Haley Merrill, I am a senior at Danbury High School! I have recently discovered my passion for writing in journalism. I am majoring in journalism in college, and wanted to get a head start at my future. I can't wait to write stories and share them with the school newspaper. Looking forward to a great year at the Hatters Herald!

Comments (0)

All The Hatters' Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *