Kenan Thompson Speaks On Nickelodeon Controversy From Quiet On Set Series

By April Ryder | Published

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Kenan Thompson, one-half of the Nickelodeon-built All That spinoff Kenan & Kel, recently spoke out publicly for the first time about the controversial new documentary Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV. Thompson said that the terrible things highlighted in the documentary happened after his time with Nickelodeon. 

Thompson On Amanda Bynes

Wednesday’s episode of the Tamron Hall Show featured Kenan Thompson as a guest, creating a safe space for the veteran comic to talk a bit about his book When I Was Your Age. Tamron uses his book’s reference to Amanda Bynes to open up a conversation about the recently released documentary. 

“She’s like all of our little sister and we’ve all been very protective of her. Amanda was the sweetest, happiest girl, and she loved to laugh. She was an explosion of bright innocence and joy,” the book reads. 

Thompson On The Quiet On Set Allegations

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Kenan Thompson went on to explain that hearing all of the horrible things in the documentary is tough. On one hand, he feels empathy for the kids he worked alongside who had to go through some damaging experiences. On the other hand, Thompson said, “It’s tough for me because I can’t really speak on things that I never witnessed … these things happened after I left.” 

Thompson Says Schneider Was Hands-Off On His Projects, But Was He?

Kenan Thompson went on to explain that “Dan [Schnieder] wasn’t really on Kenan & Kel like that.” According to Kenan, Dan was mostly just a credit on the show. He didn’t take part in the daily to and fro of production like the showrunner did. 

However, the facts point to a different reality. Schneider had writing credits on 11 Kenan & Kel episodes alongside his co-executive producer credits on every episode of the first two seasons of the series. 

Dan Schneider wrote and produced multiple All That episodes in which Kenan Thompson had a role, and he served as a screenwriter and co-producer on Thompson’s blockbuster hit, Good Burger

As far as Nickelodeon records show, Kenan Thompson likely had a lot more interaction with Dan Schneider than he’s been willing to talk about. But who can blame him? No actor wants their name tied up in yet another child abuse scandal in Hollywood, or anywhere, for that matter. 

Thompson Calls Out Nickelodeon

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Kenan Thompson went on to express his sympathy for his fellow child stars saying that his, “heart goes out to anybody that’s been victimized.” Following a reading of Nickelodeon’s statement that they “investigate” all circumstances of misconduct, etc, Thompson exclaimed, “Investigate more! It’s supposed to be a safe place for kids … How dare you?”

What’s Being Done To Keep Nickelodeon’s Child Actors Safe Today?

The real question on everyone’s mind is “Does this kind of stuff still happen at Nickelodeon today?” Legal actions and other consequences will and have already come forth for the inappropriate behavior of past individuals, but what is happening today to protect Nickelodeon’s child actors from harm and abuse? 

Kenan Thompson and the rest of the world want to know how kids’ television is working to make sure stuff like this doesn’t just continue happening for future generations. There has to be a way to protect children from being victimized in the name of film.