‘Big Bang Theory’ star Mayim Bialik says ‘Quiet on Set’ allegations ‘wasn’t just happening at Nickelodeon’

Mayim Bialik, who started her career as a child actor on the series “Blossom,” is weighing in on the explosive “Quiet on Set” documentary.

In the latest episode of her podcast, “The Breakdown,” she spoke with her “Blossom” co-star Jenna van Oy and “Even Stevens” star Christy Carlson Romano about watching the five-part series and how it related to their experiences.

“Never did I ever think I was going to encounter anything like what I encountered,” Bialik said of watching the documentary. 

Early in the podcast, Bialik and van Oy focused on the allegations against Dan Schneider who, while working as a showrunner and executive producer on several Nickelodeon shows, was accused of discrimination against women and creating a toxic work environment. 

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Mayim Bialik had her “Blossom” co-star Jenna van Oy and “Even Stevens” star Christy Carlson Romano on her podcast to discuss the “Quiet on Set” documentary.  (Getty Images)

Van Oy said Schneider’s alleged behavior wasn’t much different than “things that I heard about other sets during our time.”

Bialik added, “Women being berated in the writers’ room is something that was just like — I’m sorry — it was considered in — I mean, I hate to say it — it’s considered par for the course. I will say I do not believe that happened in our writers’ room… and there were things that we all thought were OK to even joke about, which now we’d be mortified.”

“The Big Bang Theory” star and her guests also addressed the sexual assault and abuse claims made by Drake Bell.

Bialik recalled her own experience, saying, “To have been spared that kind of trauma and to know that it was going on and that it was going on right under our noses, and not only was it going on, it was going on with people then being hired on other shows after being convicted… this was so much a part of an acceptable way to run a business. That felt like the most devastating thing, and it wasn’t just happening at Nickelodeon.”

Bialik said the types of allegations detailed during “Quiet on Set” weren’t “just happening at Nickelodeon.” (Corey Nickols/Getty Images for IMDb)

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Later in the episode, Romano said “I can understand the survivor’s guilt mindset of this, because 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.”

A segment from Romano’s discussion on the episode was previously released, where she explained why she did not participate in the documentary or watch the finished product.

She opted out from viewing it because, “I think it’s extremely triggering. I’ve made a choice for several reasons to opt out of choosing to watch that imagery. I know a lot of the details, I know a lot of the folks involved. I’ve been living this on the advocacy side of things, gently, I will say gently because I’ve actually been opening up about my own experiences, not in the survivor space…because this is specifically handling that very important space of assault.”

“I’ve chosen not to speak about this with anybody, including ID, who originally came to me looking to see if I’d be interested in a doc like this. I don’t know if it was this doc [‘Quiet on Set’]. But I was approached when I first started advocating three years ago for my own YouTube channel with my own experiences that I did in different and separate episodes, so to speak.”

Christy Carlson Romano in a pink leather jacket looks directly at the camera on the carpet

Christy Carlson Romano stated on Bialik’s podcast that she decided not to watch the documentary, and had previously declined to participate when it was in early production. (Robin L Marshall/Getty Images)

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She continued, “I started to be approached by many reality-show-type producers, and they were like, ‘Hey, how do we do this?’ and I would combat them with saying, ‘Hey, guys, the only way we would do this is if we talk about how do we fix it?'”

Romano took issue with the documentary’s approach, saying, “[Fellow child actor] Alyson Stoner, who is a fantastic advocate in this space, has really impinged upon me the importance of understanding trauma porn.” 

“These are people who don’t belong to our community,” Romano said. “These are outsiders. And maybe they, maybe if they knew where to put money towards [fixing] a problem, they would, but again, a lot of this has been perceived in a way that’s — it’s outside baseball. It’s not inside baseball, it’s outside baseball. These are trauma tourists.”

Bialik agreed with feeling uncertainty about the documentary’s approach, in regard to its two main focal points, Schneider’s treatment of cast and crew and Bell’s alleged assault. 

Bialik said she was somewhat uncertain of the documentary’s approach. (FOX via Getty Images)

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“If the insinuation is that one thing leads to another, that’s actually not necessarily true, and I also don’t know if it’s helpful,” she said. “For me, the most powerful part of this entire experience… is because 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.”

Later in the episode, Bialik discussed her gratitude for the slowly shifting culture in the industry.

Bialik said on her podcast that the documentary is a good reminder of “how far we had to come” and the work that needs to continue. (Nina Westervelt/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images)

“You’re watching what the entire culture was like. This is not what happened because ‘Nickelodeon this-that.’ That’s not what the documentary brought up for me. Of course, it touched me personally. Of course it did. But what it also reminded me of is how far we had to come to get to a place where people like Christy get to advocate, and we know what she means when she says the mental health of children on sets matters and there are things that we can do to make sure that there are no exceptions. ‘You don’t get to push that child.’ And if the mother says it’s OK, guess what the mother’s wrong. Because we don’t get to push that child past when they can work.”

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Romano added, “I encourage people to keep talking about this as long it’s coming from a place of kindness and inclusion,” and said earlier, “We’re all still processing this as a community… People need to be kind and patient with one another right now.”

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