In the Media

After ‘Quiet on Set’ Revelations, Is Hollywood Doing Enough to Protect Child Actors? – Dr. Olivarius quoted in TheWrap’s report

Extract:

The shocking revelations from the Investigation Discovery docuseries “Quiet On Set” pulled back the curtain on a slew of workplace abuse allegations involving various Nickelodeon shows from the 1990s and 2000s — and the network’s former longtime writer, producer and showrunner Dan Schneider.

Now the series has sparked the implementation of background checks and a new conversation around child actors in Hollywood.

Are child actors better protected now than they were when the alleged abuses took place? And what steps are networks like Nickelodeon and Disney Channel taking to ensure this doesn’t happen again?

TheWrap spoke to people familiar with the on-set situations — including lawyers, on-set teachers, industry insiders and psychologists — who expressed surprise over the conditions that allowed the abuses covered in “Quiet on Set” to happen in the first place. But they also noted the reluctance of abuse survivors or witnesses to speak up for fear of retaliation.

While more protections are now in place and the culture of sensitivity to workplace toxicity and abuse has changed since Schneider’s ouster from Nickelodeon in 2018, the experts TheWrap contacted said there’s still more to be done.

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Dr. Ann Olivarius, a lawyer who specializes in cases of civil litigation, sexual discrimination and sexual harassment, assault and abuse said that talking to the press, as Bell and his fellow child stars did in “Quiet on Set,” is sometimes the only way to bring industry abuses to light.

“You can get justice [by going public]. You may not get money, but certainly you’ll be educating others, you’ll be preventing the problem going forward,” Olivarius told TheWrap. “All you can do is speak up. You can agitate, you can be political, you can go to the press, hopefully find a person to tell your story. And in many cases, there will be legal actions you can take.”

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