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'Quiet on Set' casts light on child actors, not fans

Some users have ignored the point of the new "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV" docu-series, adopting wild conspiracy theories instead of showing support to victims. – Photo by TikTok

The new Max and Discovery+ four-part docu-series, "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV," unveiled the grotesque operations of the beloved channel Nickelodeon, or Nick, from the 90s to the late 2010s. The series highlighted how the network hired problematic figures which resulted in the endangerment of its child actors and employees. 

The television juggernaut is responsible for the creation of iconic kids shows like "The Amanda Show," "iCarly" and "Victorious". These shows have served as a launchpad for a handful of famous actors and made Nick synonymous with child entertainment. Yet, as the docu-series explores, the network had a habit of hiring individuals who were indisputably unfit to work with children. 

Among these controversial employees are Dan Schneider, Jason Handy and Brian Peck. Episode one included interviews from former writers Christy Stratton and Jenny Kilgen, who cited multiple inappropriate interactions they had with Schneider, which included the two being forced to share a single salary. Episodes two and three revealed Handy and Peck were arrested for predatory behavior and sexual assault of Nickelodeon actors.  

Their heinous and inappropriate wrongdoings have elicited strong reactions from viewers, especially after the series revealed that convicted child predators like Peck could be hired at other child networks like Disney after their prison sentence. 

A post from user @itsslusey on the social media platform, X, read "Realizing we were kids watching Nickelodeon not knowing that those poor kids who were making us laugh were getting abused by that disgusting predator behind the cameras. I'm sick to my core, like this world is SICKENING."

This sentiment was echoed by other viewers who struggled to come to terms with the fact that they could no longer view their favorite childhood shows the same way. 

It also caused some to reflect on how this abuse is currently running rampant on social media. As seen with the recent trial surrounding the family channel, "8 Passengers," the lack of restrictions on platforms like YouTube and TikTok allow parents to use their children for a quick buck.

User @c4ptnlee posted a video on TikTok with the text, "yeah 'quiet on set' is sad … In 20 years we can watch a documentary on the kids who have to perform for the tiktok creator fund." 

Although the series is being applauded for pulling back the curtain on Nickelodeon and sparking important conversations, it was also met with criticism, particularly that it is just another example of exploitative true crime.

On TikTok, @gremlita posted a video disapproving of the public's demands of victims. 

In the description of her video, she argues that, "real people and their bad experiences should not be used as entertainment fodder for the masses even if they're celebs."

Many fans have failed to see that. Even though audiences grew up envisioning these stars as characters in a TV show, they are real people who need time to process the pain and trauma they've experienced. Just because some victims have come forward doesn't mean that others are ready yet.

Other users continued to flood the conversation with baseless conspiracy theories.

Despite how "Quiet on Set" has advanced the conversation surrounding the safety and well-being of vulnerable employees in deceptively safe work environments, it's still a product of the same industry that it's critiquing. 

Hopefully, when the series launches its additional fifth episode on April 7, fans will be more understanding.

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