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The Dangers of Child acting

Hollywood has exploited child actors for years. the industry needs to change.

By Paige Published 3 months ago 5 min read

eikcajHollywood has been around for decades. From silent films to Talkies to the modern television and movie industries. Hollywood and it's stories, actors and actresses are everywhere. People glamourize the industry and want to be like the people they see on TV. The industry is regulated to an extent but unfortunately for child actors there is little to no protection. Thanks to recent docuseries like Quiet on Set are bringing to light the true dangers when it involve kids in acting.

However, this has been going on since the very beginning of Hollywood even in the silent movie area. (Charlie Chaplin dated and married a child.) Oldie movie child stars like Judy Garland and Shirley Temple were severely mistreated by their parents and directors. Judy's mother was considered one of the first-stage mothers. which is where a parent usually a mother overmanages their child's career in acting or other forms such as singing but mostly pertains to child acting.

One of the first laws passed to try to help child actors was made on behalf of one of the first-ever child stars Jackie Coogan. who was financially abused by his parents. This created the first law to help protect child stars finances in California. The act was passed in 1939. This act helps to safeguard a portion of a child actor's earnings until the child actor is of age to have access to those earnings.

Despite this and multiple other laws that have been passed to protect children actors, kid influencers, etc there is still a lot of mistreatment, abuse, and misuse of power in Hollywood involving children. Most recently things have come out involving people who worked at Nickelodeon. A child-centered TV channel that kids have been watching since the 90s. I grew up on Nick Jr./Noogin and loved watching Sam and Cat when I got older.

Dan Schneider is the creator of a lot of these successful shows. Think Icarly, Victorious, Henrey Danger, The Amanda Show, etc. Dan started working with Nickelodeon in the 90s and began creating shows for children while he had great ideas. He was also a very strange and terrifying man behind the scenes. He had a foot fetish and would make the actors and actresses behave strangely in scenes on his shows. According to the Quiet on set docuseries.

Dan being in the room during shooting would change the environment immediately. he always made people who worked with him uncomfortable. He even once accused a female writer of working on a sex phone line. (Which she had never done.) and she ran out of the building and cried.

Dan also made weird skits for a show he ran called All That. According to one of the child actors. He had to be smothered in peanut butter and licked by dogs. Another child had to stick his head in a toilet bowl. There was also a skit where two child actors had to consume a lot of coffee and sugar. (These are children and this is extremely dangerous for any young child to consume pure sugar and coffee)

Dan also tried to help emancipate one of his star child actors Amanda Bynes and took her in. He eventually got her pregnant and wanted her to get an abortion as a thirteen-year-old girl. Amanda later tweeted about this on a private Twitter account but she wasn't believed. Amanda was one of Dan's favorites for a long time and would also spend alone time with her when she was a child.

Dan was constantly putting sexual innuendos in his shows. Ariana Grande pouring water on herself in a sexual way, the character from the Amanda show called Penelope taynt. (A part of the male body) A person from Nickelodeon questioned this but Dan explained it away as the word tainted. Also, a website made by said character was called Amanda please.com AKA. A man to please.

Jeanette McCurdy is a former child actor who has also recently shared her story. In her memoir, I'm glad my mom died she refers to Dan as The creator. She explains how when Dan would complement you. he'd complain about the other child actors he worked with and claimed whoever he was discussing with that they were his best star. Jeanette's mother forced her into acting at a very young age. Jeanette's mother was an intense stage mom living vicariously through her child's forced career. Jeanette has said the only good thing about her life as a child actor was bringing in money for her family.

Everyone knew who his favorites were. Dan also inserted himself into his shows. There's a scene in Victorious where his picture is in a character's decorated locker. Dan also preferred certain casts of his shows over others. He hated the Victorious cast because they acted like they didn't like him and they probably all knew how bad he was.

Actors of Victorious have also come out saying that they drank so much as kids they'd be drunk or hungover during filming. (How they had access to alcohol at such a young age is unknown. but because Nickelodeon was already not doing much to keep child actors safe people can speculate how.)

Dan wasn't the only predator, however. there was also Brian Peck who played Pickle Boy on All That. Brian Peck sexually assaulted child actor Drake Bell at the age of seventeen. Brian was arrested but only spent sixteen months in prison. After being in prison he was let go by Nickelodeon only to be hired by Disney to work on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. As well as other movies and TV shows. Which is disgusting and shows that in Hollywood even if you commit a crime against a child it doesn't matter.

A child who acts should be protected not just by their parents but the studios and programs they work for. No child should feel unsafe while doing something they want to do. If your child wants to go into acting work with an agent who's worked with child actors and knows how to help prevent cases of abuse, corruption, or financial abuse. Be aware of what is

Child actors who have been abused and exploited no longer want anything associated with their past life. Jeanette McCurdy has said that she doesn't like when people mention her character Sam Puckett as the only association she has with the character is one of trauma and abuse from her mother, Dan, and other adults on the shows she was involved in. Out of all the adults at Nickelodeon. The person the child actors felt safe with was Jerry Trainor, (Spencer Shay and crazy Steve.) No child actor should only have one safe person if they work with adults.

The docuseries also explains how child actors work a ton more than infant/baby actors. Unfortunately, there aren't many laws regarding child actor's work hours. No child should have to work over a whole day. Child acting needs to change and improve to keep kids safe but also allow them to still be children. Thanks to this docuseries more people are beginning to realize the full dangers of child acting and hopefully things will change.

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About the Creator

Paige

Hi, I'm Paige and I love to read and write. I love music and dogs. I mostly will write about my favorite things. Enjoy

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