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Photo Credit: Investigation Discovery

“Quiet on Set” did not tell the full truth about Drake Bell. (Op-Ed)

The Investigation Discovery docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV did not inform viewers about the full extent of Drake Bell’s crimes against children. While I believe that all victims should be able to speak out about their abuse, Drake Bell is a predator himself. He admitted that he pleaded guilty to child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. He was sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service, according to AP. In Quiet on Set, he only speaks about the misdemeanor charge, not the felony. The truth that viewers were given is a half-truth at best, and the series failed to explain what exactly Drake Bell did.

While the sexual abuse that Bell faced was graphic, brutal, and disturbing, it does not excuse the fact that he continued that cycle with minors as an adult. A former female fan accused him of sexual misconduct, alleging that Bell sent her sexually explicit photos and was grooming her since she was 12. During the trial, she recalled meeting him online and going to one of his concerts. She described him as a “pedophile” and said he caused her “indescribable” pain. Quiet on Set did not touch on this even a little bit, and Bell claimed that he didn’t know how old the victim was.

“Today I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong. I’m sorry that the victim was harmed in any way — that was obviously not my intention,” Bell said in a statement at the sentencing hearing, “I have taken this matter very, very seriously, and again I just want to apologize to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions.”

Quiet on Set gave Bell the spotlight to speak about his abuse but did not address the fact that he hurt a child. They gloss over the fact that Bell himself is a predator. While there are claims online that the child was lying about Bell’s misconduct, Bell pleaded guilty to child endangerment and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. The case was not about sexual assault or rape, so Bell did not plead guilty to any crime involving rape.

A docuseries must inform the audience about every facet of their investigation. Quiet on Set failed to do so. I understand that Bell deserves to come forward and speak about his abuse, but he should not be perceived as completely innocent in his adulthood. We must be cognizant of the crimes he committed against a child.

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