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Why Drake & Josh fans were lashing out at Josh Peck after Drake Bell Nickelodeon abuse reveal

Drake Bell took to social media to defend his Drake & Josh co-star Josh Peck after some unfair backlash from fans.

The fallout continues from the explosive allegations of abuse in the behind-the-scenes Investigation Discovery documentary, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV. Now the Nickelodeon actor at the center of scandal, Drake Bell, who disclosed to the public for the first time in the four-part docuseries that he was the victim of sexual assault perpetrated by dialogue coach Brian Peck, is taking to social media to defend his co-star, Josh Peck.

It seems some fans of Drake Bell and Josh Peck’s hit Nickelodeon series, Drake & Josh, are unfairly attributing blame for the tragic abuse on Bell’s co-star Josh Peck due largely to having the same last name as the convicted sex offender Brian Peck — but the shared last name is merely a coincidence and the two are unrelated.

Fans also seemed to be reacting to not hearing a public statement from Josh Peck about the events detailed in the Quiet on Set documentary. So Bell took to TikTok to offer words of support for his co-star.

“I just want to clear something up,” Bell said in the video post. “I just want to let you guys know that this is really, you know, processing this and going through this is a really, emotional time and a lot of it’s very, very difficult. So not everything is put out to the public.”

Bell continued, “But I just want you guys to know that he has reached out to me and it’s been very sensitive. But he has reached out to to talk with me and help me work through this. And has been really, really great. So just wanted to let you guys know that and to take it a little easy on him.”

@drakebell♬ I kind of relate – Drake Bell

Brian Peck was arrested in 2003 on eleven charges, pleading no contest to two of those charges — including oral copulation with a minor under 16 and performing a lewd act with a 14- or 15-year-old. Later, he was sentenced to 16 months in prison and was mandated to register as a sex offender.

Bell had been previously unidentified as the victim of abuse until deciding to come forward publicly in Quiet on Set.

After the airing of the documentary, Nickelodeon issued a statement reading, “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.”

There’s been an outpouring of support from many others involved with the show as well.

Drake Bell’s on-screen mom, Nancy Sullivan, posts heartfelt message

Nancy Sullivan, who played the mom to Drake Bell’s character on Drake & Josh, took to Instagram with a picture of Drake as a teen and the following message: “They weren’t my real kids, but I’ll always love them. It broke my heart into a million pieces to hear just how much Drake was holding inside while we were working together.”

She continued, “I was both devastated and proud seeing the man he’s grown into sit down on camera and bravely tell his truth. Past abuse doesn’t define us, and it has no right to rule our lives, I know that putting this burden down will free him in so many ways.”

Sullivan concluded her post with the words, “I hope memories of the joy he had on our shows will someday greatly overshadow the pain. Sending love to Drake for a deep healing and for a rich and beautiful life ahead.”

Why aren’t Drake Bell and Josh Peck friends anymore?

Drake Bell took center stage and wowed the crowd with song of his hits as the crowd sang along and took photos and video, during MinerPalooza 2018
© ruramirez

Part of the unfair backlash toward Drake Bell’s co-star Josh Peck may have stemmed from Josh’s admission in a 2022 podcast that the two weren’t really friends anymore.

When he was on Dave Portnoy and Josh Richards’ BFFs, Peck admitted, “We were kids, right? Obviously, there were times when we were closer than not, but when inevitably the show ended – I mean, we’re just totally different kids.”

“Drake & Josh is something I’ll be synonymous with forever and I’m proud of it,” he continued. “And I want to like the guy that my name is attached to forever, but unfortunately, it just sort of worked out the way that it did.”

But not maintaining a friendship with an actor you co-starred in a Nickelodeon kids’ show with as a teen obviously does not equate to a lack of support for a victim of childhood sexual abuse. Drake Bell took to social media during what must be an emotionally wrenching week to clarify that his Drake & Josh co-star Josh Peck has indeed reached out to him during this trying time.

There are plenty of people to be mad at in this situation — the perpetrator Brian Peck above all, and the toxic showrunner of Drake & Josh, Dan Schneider, to name a few — but if Drake & Josh fans want to truly support Drake Bell right now, they should heed Bell’s advice to “take it a little easy on” Josh Peck.

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About the Author

Josh Silverstein is a writer for television/film/new media/stage/print and probably a few other mediums he’s forgetting. He is also a wearer of many Mediums for those looking to buy him a shirt.

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