Concerns Arise Over ‘Quiet on Set’ Participants’ Awareness of Docuseries’

Participants in the docuseries “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” have voiced concerns about not being fully informed regarding the series’ network affiliation with Investigation Discovery (ID). Former Nickelodeon actresses Raquel Lee Bolleau and Alexa Nikolas expressed dissatisfaction upon learning that the series, which delves into serious allegations of abuse in the children’s entertainment industry, was aired on a network they felt might not suit the gravity of their stories.

Lee Bolleau, known for her role in “The Amanda Show,” shared her surprise with IndieWire, stating, “I had no clue it was on [ID] until one or two weeks before it aired.” Similarly, Nikolas, from “Zoey 101,” remarked, “When I looked it up, my first thought was our stories and the conversation that deserves to be had around them are way bigger than ID and deserve a more credible platform. A more serious one.”

The series, produced by Business Insider and Maxine Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television, became an instant hit, amassing 1.25 billion viewing minutes in its premiere week, as reported by Nielsen. Despite its success, the participants allege a lack of transparency from the creators, Emma Schwartz and Mary Robertson, which they claim led to a “manufactured consent” that prevented them from fully understanding the project’s scope and the implications of its network affiliation.

The participants described a strategic “silo-ing” process used during production that kept them uninformed about crucial aspects, including the series being tied to ID. This late revelation caused significant distress, with Nikolas commenting on the sensationalism she felt was amplified by the network’s involvement: “It would have been curated differently and would have been more impactful on [another network].”

Moreover, discrepancies in production quality between the initial episodes and a reunion-style Episode 5, hosted by Soledad O’Brien, suggest possible differences in how parts of the series were handled. Leon Frierson, another participant, noted that the final episode “seems to be rushed and it does seem to skip the due diligence that they did in the first four to make others feel comfortable.”

These revelations have stirred discussions about ethical practices in documentary filmmaking and the responsibilities of producers to their subjects. The participants’ experiences highlight the need for greater transparency and consideration in handling sensitive personal stories within the entertainment industry.

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