Ex-Nickelodeon stars discuss docuseries alleging on-set abuse

(NewsNation) — A new docuseries is shedding a disturbing light on what went on behind the scenes of some of the most popular shows on Nickelodeon in the 1990s and 2000s.

“Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” exposes the toxic culture at popular shows including “All That,” “The Amanda show” and “Drake & Josh” and the alleged abuse that some child actors experienced while filming.

That includes actor Drake Bell, who accused Nickelodeon dialogue coach Brian Peck of repeatedly sexually abusing him.

His parents apparently let him go to Peck’s house anytime he needed to work on dialogue or sleep over there if need be for an audition.

In 2004, Peck was convicted of sexually assaulting a child actor who was not named until now.

Peck registered as a sex offender, as did former Nickelodeon production assistant Jason Handy, who was convicted of lewd acts on a child and distributing sexually explicit material by email.

The film series also focuses on producer Dan Schneider, the man behind some of the biggest children’s shows of that time but was alleged to have created an environment that was making a lot of people uncomfortable.

There were accusations of creating a toxic workplace, inappropriate behavior and over-sexualizing young stars, including Ariana Grande and Jamie Lynn Spears.

Schneider addressed the allegations from the docuseries and apologized.

Former Nickelodeon stars Katrina Johnson and Leon Frierson, who were both in the documentary and previously worked with Schneider, joined NewsNation’s “Dan Abrams Live” on Thursday to discuss working with Schneider.

Frierson recalled being uncomfortable in what he wore as “the nose boy” — having to wear tights, underwear, a large prosthetic nose, and shoulder pads that resembled male genitalia … at one point having to sneeze a white fluid on someone.

“We brought so much light to your childhood, right?” Frierson said. “And while we still want to be able to celebrate what we did, as young actors, it is important that we also shed light to some of the horrific moments that took place, not only just for myself, but for those that were truly physically hurt, mentally hurt, and, you know, all around didn’t have a great experience the whole time.”

Johnson, also an “All That” actor, was allegedly called “the fat one,” according to the docuseries, and told she gained too much weight.

“I was always playing younger, playing little,” Johnson said. “After I went through puberty, they wanted to keep me a kid. So they ended up, like, duct taping my boobs down … Anything that was sexually sexuality related with me was always hidden.”

Frierson said it’s hard for the former actors right now, because the actors are just trying to figure out how to move forward from here.

“Here they are, acknowledging what took place, hopefully taking a step in the right direction,” Frierson said. “And that’s a big part of what I wanted, why I wanted to be involved in it, to make sure that the current class and Nickelodeon and future child stars have these types of protection moving forward, and we don’t have to continue to have these type of documentaries in the future.”

Watch the full interview in the video player at the top of the page.

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