Mayim Bialik reacts to Quiet on Set revelations, claims abuse ‘touched me personally’

‘The Big Bang Theory’ alum said that sexism in the writer’s room ‘is considered par for the course’

Inga Parkel
Wednesday 17 April 2024 18:19 BST
'Quiet on Set' documentary alleges abuse at Nickelodeon

Mayim Bialik has reacted to the abuse claims made against Nickelodeon by former child stars in Investigation Discovery’s docu-series Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.

Last month, ID released its bombshell documentary, which featured interviews with several former Nickelodeon stars, including Drake Bell, who pulled back the curtain to reveal a toxic underbelly of abuse, harassment, racism and sexism on the sets of shows led by TV executive Dan Schneider.

“You’re watching what the entire culture was like,” Bialik, 48, said on the latest episode of her Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown podcast.

Speaking to her Blossom co-star Jenna von Oÿ and podcast guest Christy Carlson Romano (Even Stevens), Bialik added: “This is not what happened because ‘Nickelodeon this-that.’ Of course, it touched me personally. Of course it did.

“But what it also reminded me of is how far we had to come to get to a place where people like Christy get to advocate and we know what she means when she says, the mental health of children on set matters and there are things that we can do to make sure that there are no exceptions. ‘You can’t push that child.’”

Bialik, who made her screen debut at 12 years old in 1988’s horror movie Pumpkinhead, also addressed allegations of sexism made in the series by female writers who had worked with Schneider.

“Women being berated in the writer’s room is something that was just like – I’m sorry – it was considered in – I mean, I hate to say it, – it’s considered par for the course,” the Big Bang Theory star said.

Mayim Bialik and Drake Bell on ‘Quiet on Set’
Mayim Bialik and Drake Bell on ‘Quiet on Set’ (Getty Images and Investigation Discovery)

“I will say I do not believe that happened in our writer’s room, and there were things that we all thought were okay to even joke about which now we’d be mortified.”

Elsewhere in the podcast episode, Romano, now 40, admitted that she won’t watch Quiet on Set because “it’s extremely triggering”. “I’ve made a choice for several reasons to opt out of watching that imagery,” she said.

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“I’ve chosen not to speak about this with anybody, including ID, who originally came to me looking to see if I’d be interested in a doc like this.”

Romano continued: “I started to be approached by many reality-show-type producers, and they were like, ‘Hey, how do we do this?’ and I would combat them with saying, ‘Hey, guys, the only way we would do this is if we talk about how do we fix it?’”

Calling out documentarians like those behind Quiet on Set, Romano said: “These are people who don’t belong to our community. These are outsiders. And maybe they, maybe if they knew where to put money towards [fixing] a problem, they would, but again, a lot of this has been perceived in a way that’s – it’s outside baseball. It’s not inside baseball, it’s outside baseball. These are trauma tourists.”

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