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Nickelodeon Directors Express Regret For Their Support Of Brian Peck Following Quiet On Set Docuseries

 Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV logo.
Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV logo.

Following the release of the four-part documentary Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, a number of key people have been discussed amongst commenters. One such person is Brian Peck, a since-convicted sex offender who worked as a dialogue coach for Nickelodeon during the early 2000s. Former child star Drake Bell revealed that he was abused by Peck years ago, and various individuals have since responded to the actor’s revelation. It’s also been revealed that a number of notable creatives sent in letters of support for Peck amid his trial, including directors Beth and Rich Correll. Now, the husband and wife are expressing regret over their actions.

Veteran creatives in the entertainment industry, the Corrells have directed shows across various networks. Under Nickelodeon, they helmed episodes of All That, The Amanda Show and Drake & Josh. Drake Bell alleged that, as a teen, he was abused by Brian Peck between the final season of Amanda and the first season of D&J. Following reports that they penned letters on Peck’s behalf, the pair of directors shared a statement with Variety. In it, they apologized to Bell and his family and expressed remorse for their actions:

We extend our deepest apologies to Drake Bell and his family, and we deeply regret our decision many years ago to request leniency for someone who we later learned had committed a horrible crime and caused so much pain and trauma to Drake and others. If we had known the truth at the time the letters were written, we never would have written them. There are no words to express how awful we feel for being on the wrong side of a horrific situation and the trauma it caused you, Drake. We are devastated that we unwittingly supported the unsupportable.

Brian Peck was arrested in 2003 and charged with 11 counts of lewd conduct with a minor. Following Quiet on Set, it’s now known that Drake Bell was the plaintiff in the case. Ultimately, Peck was found guilty on two counts and sentenced to 16 months in prison. Upon his release, he was hired to do voiceover work on Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, on which Rich and Beth Correll worked as a director and AD, respectively. Variety confirms that Peck didn’t actually work on set and had no interaction with the cast or crew. The network also reportedly fired him after learning of his conviction. In their statement, the Corrells went on to say:

Our biggest priority having worked on many sets throughout the years was the safety of children. We would never knowingly put any child in danger. We are saddened and appalled to hear all the in-depth details following the release of ‘Quiet on the Set.’ Children must be protected and should always be in a safe environment…both at work and at home. Drake, you are in our hearts, we are proud of your bravery, and we hope that now you are able to heal. Again, we are so sorry.

The husband and wife were two of 41 people who reportedly sent character letters to the court on the former dialogue coach’s behalf. Some of the notable people who did so were James Marsden, Alan Thicke, Boy Meets World alums Will Friedle and Rider Strong and former SNL alum Taran Killam, who also worked with Drake Bell on The Amanda Show. As reported by Variety, Strong and Friedle have since spoken out about their interactions with Brian Peck.

More on Quiet on Set

Alexa Nikolas in her reaction to Dan Schneider's video.
Alexa Nikolas in her reaction to Dan Schneider's video.

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Since Drake Bell spoke out, he’s received support from a number of former Nick stars, such as Zoey 101’s Alexa Nikolas and fellow Amanda Show alum Raquel Lee. Bell also revealed that he privately spoke with Drake & Josh alum, Josh Peck, who released his own statement in which he commended his peers for speaking out. (Peck has no relation to Brian.) Another major figure at the center of the docuseries, ex-Nick producer Dan Schneider, responded to the doc as well. While expressing “regret” over the child stars’ experiences while working on his productions, he recalled being “devastated” years ago when learning that Bell was involved in Peck’s case.

As the fallout from Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV (which is streamable with a Max subscription) continues, it remains to be seen whether others will speak out like the Corrells. Above all though, one hopes that the actors impacted by the behind-the-scenes abuse will be able to move forward as they see fit.