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Kenan Thompson Says Nickelodeon Should Be Further Investigated

Kenan Thompson Says Nickelodeon Should Be Further Investigated

Long-time Saturday Night Live cast member Kenan Thompson is advocating for more accountability from his former employer, Nickelodeon. 

The kid’s entertainment studio is currently under scrutiny following the release of the bombshell docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, which takes a closer look at what Nickelodeon did and didn’t do to protect young child stars and cast and crew members during its golden age of the ’90s and 2000s. At the center of the conversation was Dan Schneider, the creator of beloved Nickelodeon series like All That, The Amanda Show, iCarly, Drake & Josh, and Victorious. Dozens of former child stars who were interviewed detailed their discomfort with the shows’ jokes, which were often inappropriate humor for children’s television, as well as mental and sexual abuse they experienced on set. 

Thompson, who got his start in sketch comedy on Nickelodeon’s Kenan & Kel, was not featured in the documentary. However, during a recent appearance on Tamron Hall’s talk show, Thompson opened up about his view on the series and his experience with Schneider.

Here’s what Thompson had to say:

“It’s tough. It’s a tough subject, you know? It’s tough for me because I can’t really speak on things that I never witnessed, you know what I’m saying? Because all these things happened after I left, basically. Dan wasn’t really on Kenan & Kel like that. I mean, he got a ‘created by’ credit, but it was a different showrunner, so our worlds wasn’t really overly overlapping like that outside of All That, necessarily. And then all of that negativity kinda started happening outside of our tenure there. So I wasn’t really aware of a lot of it.

My heart goes out to anybody that’s been victimized, or their families. I think it’s a good thing that the doc is out and it’s putting things on display, stories that need to be told for accountability’s sake. But it’s definitely tough to watch because I have fond memories of that place and I have fond memories of my co-stars and stuff like that. So to hear that they’ve gone through terrible things like that is really tough… Investigate more. It’s supposed to be a safe place for kids. And to hear all about that is just like, ‘How dare you?’”

At the end of each episode, a statement from Nickelodeon appeared on screen saying, “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. 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.”

Quiet on Set is now streaming on Max. An additional episode with new interviews will release on April 7.

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