Nickelodeon star Matthew Underwood quit acting after agent ...

16 days ago

Published  March 31, 2024 7:36pm CDT

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 04: Matthew Underwood attends the 2023 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards at Microsoft Theater on March 04, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)

Matthew Underwood - Figure 1
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"Zoey 101" actor Matthew Underwood claimed he was sexually harassed and then assaulted by his agent when he was 19 years old. 

His experiences, which he shared on Instagram, provoked his move out of Los Angeles and also ended his pursuit of an acting career.

Underwood posted a lengthy message on social media in response to what appeared to be harassment from his silence following the release of the "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV" documentary, which uncovered the toxic work environment behind the scenes of some of the most beloved ‘90s children’s shows. 

"I know many folks want me to respond to the ‘Quiet on Set’ documentary. I'm going to share something with you that I never thought I'd have to talk about publicly, as it's honestly none of your business anyway," Underwood wrote.

DRAKE BELL CLAIMS SEXUAL ABUSE AT NICKELODEON BY CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER

"When I was 12 years old, I was groomed and molested by my best friends' stepfather. I lost the best friends I'd ever had because I couldn't spend any time with them without feeling the personal disgust and betrayal brought on by a man I trusted as a father to me," he continued. 

"When I was 19, I was sexually harassed and then assaulted by my agent at the time, who had spent a decent amount of time building trust with me as a friend and mentor. Again, my trust was betrayed and my self image crushed. I reported him to the agency and he has since been fired – although he is still active in the industry. This experience provoked my move away from LA and ended my pursuit of acting."

DAN SCHNEIDER RESPONDS TO ‘QUIET ON SET’ CLAIMS, APOLOGIZES FOR PAST BEHAVIOR AT NICKELODEON

The former actor starred as Logan Reese on "Zoey 101" with Jamie Lynn Spears from 2005-08, and then reprised his role for the 2023 film "Zoey 102" film.

Underwood, now 33, confessed that he was writing the Instagram post due to pressure from the outside world. "Well, lately, many people have been blowing up my email telling me they hope me and my mom die and that we burn in hell, I'm being called a pedophile defender and all that jazz. I have spent many years rebuilding my self-image and those hateful words have little effect on me today."

He hoped that by sharing his own story, that people would recognize "that just because a person doesn't shout from the rooftops that pedophiles are bad or that people can suck – that does not mean they don't have their own reasons for staying silent, good reasons, personal reasons."

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"I never had a bad experience working on set of a Nickelodeon show and I never had a bad experience with Dan [Schneider]," Underwood wrote. "I have nothing to add to the conversation that anyone would care to hear. I like to believe people have the capacity to be better humans and Dan appears to recognize that he had been an a--hole in the past. 

"I like to believe he is fully capable of being a creator and coworker everyone can enjoy working with. I have no expectation to work with him again, this is just me wanting good for anyone who wants to be better."

Representatives for Underwood did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.

The documentary showed Schneider's rise through the ranks at the network to become an in-demand producer despite allegations he harbored a toxic work environment while working on shows including "All That," "Drake & Josh," and "The Amanda Show" with Amanda Bynes.

In a video interview obtained by Fox News Digital, Schneider admitted that watching the documentary was "very difficult." He told actor BooG!e from "iCarly," that he has a few apologies to hand out. 

"Watching over the past two nights was very difficult," Scneider said. "Me facing my past behaviors, some of which are embarrassing and that I regret. I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology."

In the documentary, "Drake & Josh" star Drake Bell, detailed sexual abuse allegations against Brian Peck, an actor and dialogue coach hired by Nickelodeon. Peck was charged in 2003 and convicted of a lewd act against a child and oral copulation of a person under the age of 16 and spent 16 months in prison.

"When Drake and I talked and he told me what happened, I was more devastated by that than anything that ever happened to me in my career thus far. And I told him, ‘I’m here for you. What do you need?’" Schneider recalled.

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In the documentary, Bell noted, "Really, the only person I remember being there for me was Dan [Schneider]."

After Bell disclosed his sexual abuse allegations against Brian Peck, Nickelodeon released a statement to Fox News Digital. "Now that Drake Bell has disclosed his identity as the plaintiff in the 2004 case, we are dismayed and saddened to learn of the trauma he has endured, and we commend and support the strength required to come forward," the statement said.

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