Ariana Grande Breaks Silence on “Devastating” Nickelodeon Sexual Misconduct Doc

los angeles, ca january 26 ariana grande attends the 62nd annual grammy awards at staples center on january 26, 2020 in los angeles, ca photo by david crottypatrick mcmullan via getty images
Ariana Grande Breaks Her Silence on “Quiet on Set”David Crotty - Getty Images

Ariana Grande has broken her silence on the horrific docuseries Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, which exposed allegations that adults working on shows for the Nickelodeon network had engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct involving child actors for years.

The singer was one of the stars at the center of the series that explored disturbing scenes that seemed to sexualize young actors. It included scenes from Sam & Cat and Victorious, where Grande, then in her early teens, was filmed sticking her finger down her throat, licking her own toes, and squirting water on her face while in bed, among other things.

The docuseries zoomed in on Nickelodeon dialogue coach and convicted sex offender Brian Peck, as well as on longtime Nickelodeon figure Dan Schneider, the creator of both Victorious and Sam And Cat.

Today, Grande appeared on Gossip Girl actor Penn Badgley’s podcast Podcrushed and candidly addressed the docuseries.

“Obviously, my relationship to [child acting] has and is currently and has been changing. I’m reprocessing a lot of what the experience was like. I think that the environment needs to be made safer if kids are going to be acting,” she said.

She added that when you’re a child or teen actor, you’ll really do just about anything to get a good laugh from the viewers, or a good scene to stand out. But watching some of the scenes back now, she has a different opinion on how she acted—and was instructed to act, by her adult bosses.

“Speaking specifically about our show, I think that’s something that we were convinced was, like, the cool thing about us. We pushed the envelope with our humor, and the innuendos were — were were told, convinced as well, that it was the cool differentiation. I don’t know. It all happened so quickly. And now, looking back on some of the clips, I’m like, “That’s… damn, really?” It’s what you think about if I had a daughter…” she said.

“The things that weren’t approved for the network were snuck onto our website or whatever it was. That is another discovery. Going into it, I guess I’m upset,” Grande added.

Elsewhere during the talk, the singer said many kids don’t have the support they need when they go into the industry at such a young age, and the stories she has heard from survivors of sexual abuse and misconduct are “devastating.”

“I think there should be therapists. I think there should be parents allowed to be wherever they want to be—not only on kids’ sets. If anyone wants to do this or music or anything, the level of exposure that it means to be on TV or to do music with a major label or whatever, there should be in the contract something about therapy is mandatory twice a week or thrice a week or something like that,” Grande said.

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