Even Stevens star Christy Carlson Romano says she won’t watch ‘extremely triggering’ Quiet on Set

Even Stevens star Christy Carlson Romano says she won’t watch ‘extremely triggering’ Quiet on Set

Even Stevens star Christy Carlson Romano has said she will not be watching Investigation Discovery’s Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV docu-series because “it’s extremely triggering”.

Speaking on a forthcoming episode of the Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown podcast, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, the former Nickelodeon star, who portrayed Renee “Ren” Stevens on the early Noughties sitcom, said: “I’ve made a choice for several reasons to opt out of watching that imagery.”

Released in March, ID’s documentary sees ex-Nickelodeon stars pull back the curtain to reveal a toxic underbelly of abuse, harassment, racism and sexism on the sets of shows led by TV executive Dan Schneider. Among its biggest bombshells comes from Drake Bell, who, for the first time, opened up about the alleged sexual abuse he suffered at the age of 15.

“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,” Romano, now 40, told host Mayim Bialik.

“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.

“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?’”

The Cadet Kelly actor praised former child star Alyson Stoner (Cheaper By the Dozen) for “impinging upon me the importance of understanding trauma porn”.

“I actually have a degree from Columbia in film, and you know, we know that the art of montage and the collision of images is going to incite a certain kind of emotion,” Romano continued.

Christy Carlson Romano (Getty Images)
Christy Carlson Romano (Getty Images)

“That is what documentary filmmaking in social movements is meant to do. And so we’re so manipulated by media, and we have so many little cut-downs of misinformation and things being thrown, that the echo chambers, to me, are not helpful.

“These are people who don’t belong to our community,” she added. “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.”

The Independent has contacted ID for comment.

Addressing the abuse child actors face on film and TV sets, Romano cited it as a “child labour issue”. “There is a union where the child labourers pay the same amount to be covered by the protections that an adult would have, with an intimacy coordinator on set, and if there’s guns on set, or if there’s animals on set,” she said.

Romano found early fame on the popular Nickelodeon series Even Stevens, which ran from 2000 to 2003. She starred as the high-achieving older sister of Shia LaBeouf’s Louis Stevens.