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Drake Bell criticises Nickelodeon’s ‘empty’ response to sexual abuse revelations

Drake Bell has spoken out about Nickelodeon’s reaction to the sexual abuse revelations he made in the new docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, saying he found their response “pretty empty”.

In the series, which is available to stream on Discovery+, Bell alleged that at the age of 15 he was a victim of abuse at the hands of Brian Peck, who worked as a dialogue coach on Nickelodeon’s All That and The Amanda Show.

In August 2003, Peck was arrested on more than a dozen charges related to sexual abuse allegations involving an unnamed minor.

In May 2004, Peck pleaded no contest to performing a lewd act with a 14 or 15-year-old and to oral copulation with a minor under 16. Peck was sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender in October 2004.

Following the release of the docuseries, Nickelodeon said in a statement: “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.”

Speaking on the new episode of podcast The Sarah Fraser Show, Bell responded by saying: “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.”

Drake Bell in Beverly Hills in 2019 (Getty Images)
Drake Bell in Beverly Hills in 2019 (Getty Images)

He continued: “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.”

The Independent has approached Nickelodeon for comment.

Elsewhere in the podcast interview, Bell said that shortly after first speaking with the Quiet on Set filmmakers he went into rehab to try and process some of his trauma.

“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.’”

Former Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider has also responded to claims made about his behaviour and management style in the documentary, saying: “I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology.”