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‘The View’ Debates Responsibility Of Josh Peck & Ariana Grande To Speak Out For Drake Bell: Allyship Or Bullying?

The View co-hosts took sides today on whether former child stars should be expected to speak out when other child stars reveal allegations of sexual abuse, with today’s moderator Joy Behar kicking off the debate by asking, “Do you think that it’s fair to bully these other people into speaking out, because that’s what’s going on [with Nickelodeon] right now.”

The Hot Topic segment was raised after this week’s incident in which fans of Drake Bell criticized his former Drake & Josh co-star Josh Peck for seeming to stay quiet after Bell revealed in a TV documentary that he had been sexually assaulted at 15 by a dialogue coach.

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Both Bell and Peck subsequently stated that Peck had in fact reached out directly and privately to Bell. Peck then posted an Instagram message supporting his co-star.

Co-host Sunny Hostin said that a “true ally” speaks out. “I often tell people, if you are a true ally and something is happening in a room…if you see it happening, a true ally says at that moment, ‘Don’t do that, you shouldn’t do that.'” (Bell said in the interview that no one else knew of his abuse by the dialogue coach, including his family and co-stars.)

Co-hosts Sara Haines, Ana Navarro and Alyssa Farah Griffin disagreed, noting the ages of those involved in the Nickelodeon scandal documented in the Discovery ID docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.

“Just to clarify,” said Haines after Hostin’s comment, “these were kids when this all happened,” to which Hostin replied, “They were kids, but I’m saying it applies kind of universally. They shouldn’t have to be, as adults, bullied to speak out and support someone.”

Navarro disagreed with Hostin “wholeheartedly,” likening the Nickelodeon situation to abuse allegations made decades ago by members of Menudo when other members were criticized for not weighing in. “Everybody goes through their own process of healing with trauma,” Navarra then said, adding, “People need to speak up when they’re ready.”

Griffin generally agreed with Navarro, adding adult celebrities such Peck and fellow-former Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande speaking publicly runs the risk of looking like grandstanding, like “they’re making the story about themselves.”

Grande has not commented on the docuseries despite its ample use of clips depicting her Nickelodeon series seemingly sexualizing her at a young age.

Said Haines, “Knowing what she knows, what she doesn’t know, what she experienced, if this is drawing up new things, you’re asking all of these people with these new revelations to look back….They’re having to process through some of this stuff they may not have known about and deal with that. I think there’s pressure on celebrities, whether it’s speaking up on this when we don’t know what they know or don’t know, politics, the mob and the town square are not the thing to base what we do in life off of. Social media is not real.”

As Hostin, the show’s legal expert, was reading the statement Nickelodeon recently put out – “Nickelodeon as a matter of policy investigates all formal complaints as part of our commitment to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct” – Navarro quipped, “They sound like the Catholic church.”

Watch the discussion above.

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