‘Quiet on Set’ :: A Peek Behind The Curtain

‘Quiet on Set’ :: A Peek Behind The Curtain

If you grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s, shows on Nickelodeon and Disney were a staple in American homes with children at that time. When I heard there was a docuseries about what it was really like to be a child star on top hits like ‘All That’ and ‘The Amanda Show,’ I knew it was a must watch! I remember being a kid and dreaming about what it would be like to be a child star on a show like that. After watching this docuseries (especially as a parent), I am so glad to have grown up with a normal childhood. The series goes into depth about the experience of those that worked on the show and it was not nearly as glamorous as it appeared. Here were my big takeaways from the miniseries:

*Spoiler Alert! I will be detailing the series, so if you have not watched ‘Quiet on Set’ yet stop reading.*

Discrimination in the Workplace: Oof! The workplace discrimination was palpable for women and people of color. Two female writers went into detail about their experience working for Dan Schneider, the producer of several hit TV shows on Nickelodeon at the time. The women had to tip toe around Dan in an effort to appear unbothered by explicitly sexual “jokes” and blatant misogyny.  The two women even had to share a salary, which is absolutely illegal. Unfortunately, this was before the “me too” movement that gained a significant amount of traction in 2017. Women put up with way more than they should have had to deal with, because the alternative often times meant losing their jobs.

The child actors of color also expressed the micro aggressions experienced as a minority on set. Any parent that spoke up in defense of their child was met with opportunities taken away from their child. The power imbalance was extremely evident and unfortunately the needs of these child actors were completely dismissed. The children were punished for not just taking the mistreatment they were receiving.

Children Were Not Protected: One of the most alarming aspects of the show was how children were not protected. There were several child actors that were sexually abused by adult employees on the show. The most notable actor that came out with his story was Drake Bell who starred on the ‘Amanda Show’ and ‘Drake & Josh.’ His story was heartbreaking. Not nearly enough safeguards were put in place to protect children against abusers who used their position of power against the vulnerable. Drake Bell’s abuser, Brian Peck, even went onto work on sets for other children shows like ‘The Suite Life of Zack & Cody’ on the Disney channel.child watching tv, ‘Quiet on Set’ :: A Peak Behind The Curtain

Inappropriate Jokes on the Show: As a child, I did not pick up on any suggestive jokes that were made. As an adult, I am extremely concerned with the undertones of a lot of the jokes. If this is a children’s show, who are these jokes for?

Child Actors: We’ve all seen Amanda Bynes in recent years. Watching this documentary gives so much context into why many child actors end up the way they do. The amount of trauma experienced in making these shows is alarming. Family dynamics make it complicated to have a healthy home life. No wonder many celebrities turn to various forms of addiction and lose themselves after growing up in the limelight.

What were your thoughts on this new docuseries? Another episode comes on April 7th and I can’t wait to watch it!

Emily Beatmann
Emily is a Louisiana native born in Shreveport, Louisiana. She went to UL Lafayette and earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations in 2012. It was here that she fell in love with her husband, Jude, and the city of Lafayette. On the weekends, you will find Emily at a festival, the farmer’s market, enjoying a Mardi Gras parade, or eating at one of the many delicious restaurants in Acadiana. Emily and Jude have two children named Mia (9), Patrick (5.), and Violet (8 months.) She is a Marketing Director by day and mom by night! Emily has a passion for reading, Harry Potter, theatre, coffee, wine, spreading financial literacy, her friends, and family.


  1. My husband and I decided to watch it together and it was a difficult watch. The documentary exposed a disturbing reality: a systemic failure to protect child actors. My daughter has been a working actor since she was 7. She is two years in the business with many short films, commercials and modeling jobs under her belt. “Quiet on Set” served as a powerful reminder of my responsibility. While I can’t predict the future, I’m committed to staying vigilant and creating a safe space for my daughter. We talk about open communication and discuss personal boundaries regularly. We ensure she’s never alone with adults and maintain a close presence on set. I am her shadow. I go where she goes. This is why I also volunteer during tech week in theater at CYT Lafayette… I’m in the rehearsal and dressing room spaces putting in long hours because her safety is my only priority.

    It’s important to remember that even though my daughter enjoys acting, but it’s a secondary passion. Our primary goal is to raise a confident, independent adult, who loves Jesus, and who prioritizes self-worth and healthy boundaries.

    While we can’t control the world around her, we can equip her with the tools and support she needs to navigate it safely. We have hand signals and secret code phrases we use to talk to one another on set so I always know what she’s feeling and if I need to step in.


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