Mayim Bialik, Christy Carlson Romano react to 'Quiet on Set' docuseries

"You're watching what the entire culture was like."

April 17, 2024, 11:07 AM

Mayim Bialik discussed "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV" docuseries on the latest episode of her podcast, "Mayim Bialik's Breakdown."

The "Big Bang Theory" alum was joined by her former "Blossom" co-star Jenna von Oy and "Even Stevens" alum Christy Carlson Romano on the April 16 episode, with the trio reacting to the bombshell docuseries and sharing their thoughts about growing up in front of the camera.

"You're watching what the entire culture was like," Bialik said. "This is not what happened because Nickelodeon this-that. Of course it touched me personally, of course it did."

The former "Jeopardy!" host also said it reminded her "how far we had to come" for the mental health of children on a set to be something viewed as a thing to protect.

PHOTO: “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” is to air on March 17 and 18 on Investigation Discovery.
“Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” is to air on March 17 and 18 on Investigation Discovery.
Investigation Discovery

Von Oy said all of the stories shared during "Quiet on Set" were "heartbreaking," adding that it "dug a very deep hole in my heart" to hear them.

"I would imagine that there are a lot of people who ended up in this documentary who have secondary trauma that they are only just beginning to touch the surface of processing," she continued. "The victims of all of this, it's tragic. That is a lifetime of processing."

Romano, who has become an advocate for child actors, said she deliberately didn't watch the Investigation Discovery series, claiming the company approached her to do a series like "Quiet on Set" only for her to turn them down.

"The echo chambers, to me, are not helpful. And these are people that don't belong to our community -- these are outsiders," she said of the filmmakers. "Maybe if they knew where to, you know, put money toward to fix the problem they would, but these are trauma tourists."

"I think we're all kind of living with a little bit of survivor's guilt," she continued. "That could have been any one of us, and we all kind of need to grieve together, I think, at this point, and sort of come together to try to figure out what now."

PHOTO: Mylan Torres' Split Template PSD
Mayim Bialik attends The Los Angeles LGBT Center Gala at Fairmont Century Plaza on April 22, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Christy Carlson Romano attends the opening night of the 2023 ATX TV Festival at Stateside at the Paramount on June 01, 2023 in Austin, Texas.
Gregg Deguire/WireImage|Hubert Vestil/Getty Images

Romano added that the reason she has chosen not to watch the "Quiet on Set" docuseries is because she believes "there's no hope sort of being inserted into the narrative."

In response to this, Bialik replied, "I'm unsure if there's a way to have hope when the system is designed to gain the maximum compliance from children who are performers for the maximum profit."

"Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV" investigates claims of abuse, sexism, racism, and toxic workplaces at some Nickelodeon shows in its heyday of the 1990s and early 2000s.

Nickelodeon has responded to the series, with the network telling ABC News that while it "cannot corroborate or negate allegations of behaviors from productions decades ago, Nickelodeon as a matter of policy investigates all formal complaints as part our commitment to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct," adding that it has "adopted numerous safeguards over the years to help ensure we are living up to own high standards and the expectations of our audience."

Bialik and her podcast guests' discussion of the docuseries comes after other child stars, including Kenan Thompson, Melissa Joan Hart and Candace Cameron Bure have also shared their reactions.