Drake Bell Defends Mom & Dan Schneider Against Backlash

Drake Bell - YouTube/Law&Crime Network

Drake Bell appeared in the latest fifth episode of Quiet On Set: The Dark Side Of Kids TV. The episode called “Breaking The Silence,” focused on how to move the narrative forward and better protect child actors. Bell addressed the letters of support sent by his colleagues as well as the backlash his mother and Dan Schneider are receiving online. Some people were shocked by what he had to say, keep reading to find out why.

Drake Bell Isn’t In A Hurry To ‘Forgive & Forget’

Host Soledad O’Brien sat down with Drake Bell to discuss what life has been like since he first revealed the abuse that he experienced at the hands of Brian Peck. More specifically, he asked Bell about Will Friedle and Rider Strong.

Friedle and Strong were two of the actors who wrote letters in support of Brian Peck in 2003. They talked about the decision to write their letters on their podcast “Pod Meets World” before the release of Quiet On Set.

The pair revealed their own personal experience with Brian Peck. They admitted that they were also groomed and manipulated by the Nickelodeon dialogue coach. Because they had been manipulated by Peck, they wound up on “the wrong side of everything.” Both of them said they felt awful about their character letters after the truth came out. They maintained that they did not know Bell was the victim and were also not aware of the details of the crimes Peck committed.

Drake Bell 'Quiet On Set' - YouTube, Investigation Discovery
YouTube/Investigation Discovery

However, Drake Bell told Soledad O’Brien that didn’t change the way he felt about the two actors at this point.

“I worked with Will on Spider-Man and there was a lot of opportunity to apologize or talk about it and [he] never did, but also, it’s a very difficult subject to bring up, especially in a work environment,” Bell said. “That’s the thing that’s hard about this — everyone deals with their trauma in different ways, everybody comes to different conclusions at different times in their lives and realizations.”

In the docuseries, it was revealed that more than 40 individuals wrote letters in support of Brian Peck. No one who wrote any of the letters has reached out to Drake Bell since he came forward with his story in Quiet On Set.

Bell Defends Dan Schneider & His Mother

When it came to watching the series himself, Bell said that it was “very hard to watch.” He said that the allegations against producer Dan Schneider were especially hard to watch.

“I can only speak from my experience, and I can’t take away from anyone else’s experience,” Bell said. “I can just say that during this time with Brian, Dan was really the only one from the network that even made an effort to help me and make sure I was okay.”

Drake Bell - YouTube/Law&Crime Network
YouTube/Law&Crime Network

Drake Bell also responded to the backlash his mother is receiving online. Many people who viewed the docuseries think she could have (and should have) done more to protect her son from Brian Peck. Bell doesn’t think the hate she’s getting is fair.

“If you were in that situation at that time, he was so good at what he was doing. He was so calculated, he knew exactly what to say, how to say it, what to do, the image to portray, everything,” Bell told Soledad O’Brien. “I completely understand how he just pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes. It’s tragic.”

Quiet On Set: The Dark Side Of Kids TV is available to stream on Max.

Amanda Blankenship

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