Josh Peck Breaks Silence About Drake Bell Revelations in ‘Quiet on Set’: “Children Should Be Protected”

Josh Peck has broken his silence on Investigation Discovery’s Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV  docuseries, which put his Drake & Josh co-star Drake Bell in the spotlight. The actor-musician revealed he had been sexually abused as a child by his dialogue coach while working at Nickelodeon.

“I finished the Quiet On Set documentary and took a few days to process it,” Josh Peck’s Instagram post began. “I reached out to Drake privately, but wanted to give my support for the survivors who were brave enough to share their stories of emotional and physical abuse on Nickelodeon sets with the world.”

More from The Hollywood Reporter

He continued, “Children should be protected. Reliving this publicly is incredibly difficult, but I hope it can bring healing for the victims and their families as well as necessary change to our industry.”

Josh Peck’s statement comes the day after Bell asked his fans, who were slamming the Oppenheimer actor for not speaking up on behalf of his co-star, to “take it a little easy on him.” He added that Josh Peck had already reached out to him personally to express his support.

“It’s been very sensitive, but he has reached out to talk with me and help me work through this and has been really, really great,” Bell shared in a TikTok. “So I just wanted to let you guys know that and to take it a little easy on him.”

On Drake & Josh, the actors played stepbrothers, whose separate families became one when Drake and Megan’s (Miranda Cosgrove) mom, Audrey (Nancy Sullivan), married Josh’s dad, Walter (Jonathan Goldstein). Following the docuseries’ release, Sullivan shared a sweet message of support for Bell.

“They weren’t my real kids, but I’ll always love them,” she captioned a photo of her onscreen son. “It broke my heart into a million pieces to hear just how much Drake was holding inside while we were working together. I was both devastated and proud seeing the man he’s grown into sit down on camera and bravely tell his truth.”

Her post continued, “Past abuse doesn’t define us, and it has no right to rule our lives, I know that putting this burden down will free him in so many ways. I hope memories of the joy he had on our shows will someday greatly overshadow the pain. Sending love to Drake for a deep healing and for a rich and beautiful life ahead.”

Josh Peck previously opened up about how he and Bell sort of drifted apart following the end of Drake & Josh. During an appearance on BFFs With Dave Portnoy, Josh Richards and Brianna Chickenfry in March 2022, the actor noted they weren’t friends anymore.

“We were kids, right? Obviously, there were times when we were closer than not, but when inevitably the show ended — I mean, we’re just totally different kids,” he said at the time. “Drake & Josh is something I’ll be synonymous with forever, and I’m proud of it. And I want to like the guy that my name is attached to forever, but unfortunately, it just sort of worked out the way that it did.”

In the four-part ID docuseries, Bell shared his story of child sexual abuse when he was 15, at the hands of his former dialogue coach, Brian Peck (who is not related to Josh Peck). In 2003, Brian Peck was accused of molesting a child. He was subsequently convicted of a lewd act against a child and oral copulation of a person under 16, and spent 16 months in prison.

Only now do we learn Bell, then a minor at 15 years of age and the star of Nickelodeon shows like All That and The Amanda Show, was at the center of that criminal case and conviction.

The actor-musician is one of multiple child stars who were on Nickelodeon and came forward in Quiet on Set with allegations of abuse, sexism, racism and inappropriate behavior surrounding shows led by Dan Schneider in the early 2000s. Those series include The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, iCarly, Victorious and Sam & Cat.

Victorious star Matt Bennett, who played Robbie on the show that starred Victoria Justice, shared a lengthy statement on his Instagram Story, which has now expired. In his post, he explained that he had been reflecting on the docuseries since watching it.

“I spent most of it trying to remove myself from the situation, asking, ‘If I hadn’t worked for Nickelodeon and didn’t know any of the people involved, would I be ok with the behavior and the treatment of others I’m seeing?’ And the answer is no. I wouldn’t be ok with it and I’m not ok with it. I’m not sure how much I can do or say today, it’s all a little too real for me right now.”

He continued, “There are some mental pretzels I have to work on undoing but over the next few weeks, months and years I’m dedicated to help in any way I can to put more safeguards in place to protect young actors. Entertainment is important but it’s not as important as the mental and physical health of the people creating it, especially those who aren’t in a position to speak up for themselves.”

Schneider has broken his silence after watching the docuseries, noting that it forced him to face his past behaviors and that he regrets some of them.

“When I watched the show, I could see the hurt in some people’s eyes, and it made me feel awful and regretful and sorry,” he said in a video exclusively obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “I wish I could go back, especially to those earlier years of my career, and bring the growth and the experience that I have now and just do a better job and never, ever feel like it was OK to be an asshole to anyone, ever.”

March 22, 8:45 a.m. Updated with Matt Bennett’s statement.

Best of The Hollywood Reporter