Why Amanda Bynes Didn’t Participate in ‘Quiet on Set’ Docuseries


The revelations in ID’s Quiet on Set docuseries have been extraordinary, lifting the veil on a culture of toxicity and alleged abuse behind the scenes of some of the most popular kids’ television shows on Nickelodeon in the ’90s and early aughts. Many of the documented incidents took place in or around production on some specific shows, including The Amanda Show.

Archival footage of the series’ lead, Amanda Bynes, is repeatedly revisited in the docuseries to showcase some of the controversial choices made by former producer Dan Schneider. For example, an editor on The Amanda Show, Karen Finley Thompson, said in the docuseries that she was disturbed by the tactile relationship between Schneider and the then-minor Bynes, including him accepting neck massages from her. In another instance, archival footage of appearing in a hot tub with Schneider for a promotional video he wrote was panned as a “sad and strange experience” for being an inappropriate setup. However, Bynes herself does not appear in the docuseries.

According to TMZ, it was Bynes’ decision not to participate in the show. The site reports that the former child star declined to appear in the series because she didn’t have negative experiences of her own to report about her experience at Nickelodeon, and her parents didn’t appear in the series because they wanted to remain private. Although Bynes returned to social media amid the show’s release, she has not publicly commented on the series or the claims of her former costars.

Bynes, who went on to headline several movies after her Nickelodeon career, originally left the business in 2010 after her role in Easy A, writing on Twitter, “I don’t love acting anymore so I’ve stopped doing it.”

She subsequently experienced several publicized crises, including multiple arrests. In 2012, she was charged with driving under the influence after hitting a police vehicle in Los Angeles. In 2013, she was arrested in New York after allegedly smoking marijuana in a hotel lobby and subsequently throwing paraphernalia out of a window. Bynes was again arrested for DUI in 2014.

She also suffered multiple mental health crises over the last decade. In 2014, she was placed on a psychiatric hold, resulting in her mother being granted a conservatorship over Bynes. Bynes later revealed in 2018 that she was in recovery from substance abuse. Her mother had conservatorship of the former actress until 2022 when Bynes successfully petitioned to terminate the arrangement. In 2023, she was again placed on a psychiatric hold after being arrested by police, and her former fiancé, Paul Michael, said she’d been “off her meds.”

Bynes’ former All That co-star Kenan Thompson recently commented on Bynes’ past during a March appearance on Tamron Hall Show, saying, “I’m just rooting for her from afar… She was the best, man; we were very close. She was like all of our little sister, and we were all very protective of her.” He went on to add, “Unfortunately, some leeches sent her down a dark path. When she went left for a little while, we all were sad. I cared about her, and I still do. She’s good people.”

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV originally featured four episodes with harrowing testimonials from former child stars about their experiences with abuse, sexism, and racism. The series will continue with a bonus episode, titled Quiet on Set: Breaking the Silence, featuring another interview with Bynes’ former costar Drake Bell, who revealed his own devastating experience of being sexually assaulted by a former adult mentor when he was a child star of The Amanda Show.

In addition to a new appearance by Bell, Quiet on Set: Breaking the Silence will also feature Giovonnie Samuels, Bryan Hearne, Hearne’s mother, Tracy Brown, and All That’s Shane Lyons in a discussion with journalist Soledad O’Brien. Bynes is not presently expected to participate.

Quiet on Set: Breaking the Silence, April 7, 8/7c, ID

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN’s National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

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