Emma Roberts Reacts to Shocking ‘Quiet on Set’ Docuseries: “It Made Me Really Sad”

Emma Roberts, former Nickelodeon star, recently shared her emotional response to the docuseries “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV,” which aired in March.

Emma Roberts. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, GILBERT CARRASQUILLO/GC IMAGES)
Emma Roberts. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, GILBERT CARRASQUILLO/GC IMAGES)

The series revealed disturbing claims of child abuse from former Nickelodeon child stars, leaving Roberts, 33, “horrified and shocked.”

In an interview with Variety, Roberts expressed her dismay, noting that her experience as a young actress with Nickelodeon was vastly different. “I was completely horrified and shocked because that was not my experience,” Roberts said. “It made me really, really, really sad that that was happening to people that I literally saw often and had no idea.”

Roberts starred in her own show, “Unfabulous,” on Nickelodeon from 2004 to 2007, beginning her role at the age of 13.

She recalled her positive experiences working on the show and credited much of her safety and well-being to her showrunner, Sue Rose, and her mother’s constant presence on set.

“The showrunner we had was this amazing woman named Sue Rose. And I didn’t realize at the time, but a female showrunner back then was not very common,” Roberts shared. “But that was my intro into working on a TV show.” She added, “Also, my mom was with me 24/7, and even I would be like, ‘You don’t have to be here all the time,’ she was like, ‘I do actually. I’m not letting you out of my sight. You’re not going to a fitting by yourself when you’re 13 years old.’”

Roberts said she was 'horrified' by the the 'Quiet on Set' docuseries. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, COURTESY INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY)
Roberts said she was ‘horrified’ by the the ‘Quiet on Set’ docuseries. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, COURTESY INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY)

Roberts emphasized her sadness upon hearing her peers’ stories of abuse. “I just feel like children need to be protected on sets, as do adults, and I feel like we’re working towards a better work environment in that sense. But yeah, that documentary really kept me up at night.”

“Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” features several former child actors who spoke out about the toxic culture and abuse they endured on children’s television shows in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Many of these shows were produced by Dan Schneider, a prominent figure in children’s television.

Among the disturbing revelations was actor Drake Bell’s account of being sexually assaulted by a Nickelodeon dialogue coach. Additionally, two female writers from “The Amanda Show” accused Schneider of sexism.

The docuseries detailed numerous other allegations of a distressing environment behind the scenes at Nickelodeon from former cast and crew members.

An internal investigation into the abuse allegations at Nickelodeon led to Schneider’s departure from the network in 2018. Despite the gravity of the accusations, Schneider has denied any misconduct.

Emma said she had a positive experience as a child actor (pictured with her dad Eric Roberts and wife Eliza). [PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, GREGG DEGUIRE/WIREIMAGE]
Emma said she had a positive experience as a child actor (pictured with her dad Eric Roberts and wife Eliza). [PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, GREGG DEGUIRE/WIREIMAGE]

In response to the docuseries and the allegations, Nickelodeon issued a statement in March, emphasizing their commitment to a safe and professional workplace. “Though we cannot corroborate or negate allegations of behaviors from productions decades ago, 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,” the statement read.

The network also highlighted their efforts to ensure the well-being of their employees and child actors, stating, “Our highest priorities are the well-being and best interests not just of our employees, casts and crew, but of all children, and we have adopted numerous safeguards over the years to help ensure we are living up to our own high standards and the expectations of our audience.”

Emma Roberts’ reflections underscore the necessity for continued vigilance and improvement in protecting child actors in the entertainment industry. Her account contrasts starkly with the harrowing experiences detailed in the docuseries, illustrating the varied realities faced by young performers.

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