‘Ned’s Declassified’ Stars Say They Were Not Referring to Drake Bell in TikTok Joke: “We F***ed Up”

Ned’s Declassified School Survivor’s Guide stars Devon Werkheiser, Lindsey Shaw and Daniel Curtis Lee took to their podcast to express their regrets after a joke they seemingly made about Drake Bell received backlash earlier this week.

On Tuesday, the Nickelodeon child stars were on a TikTok Live during which they were receiving comments from fans asking what their thoughts were on the Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV docuseries, in which Bell came forward about his child sexual abuse.

More from The Hollywood Reporter

While someone commented, asking about the docuseries, Werkheiser made a joke directed at Lee, saying, “Daniel, we told you never to speak about that. Get back in your hole, Daniel, and give me your holes!” Fans took that to mean they were mocking Bell following his claims.

Werkheiser attempted to correct himself in the video, noting, “Sorry, we shouldn’t joke about this. We really shouldn’t. Our set was not like that,” referring to the toxic behavior reported on Nickelodeon shows under the purview of producer Dan Schneider at the time.

After Bell called the actors out, Werkheiser shared an apology on X (formerly Twitter), writing that he was “gutted” he hurt his fellow Nickelodeon star. “I was being an idiot today. No way around it,” he added. “I feel horrible that my dumbass was even speaking about this without seeing it.”

In this week’s edition of Werkheiser, Shaw and Lee’s podcast, Ned’s Declassified Podcast Survival Guide, the actors addressed their comments further and the docuseries as a whole. At the start of the 45-minute video, Werkheiser explained that they hadn’t seen the docuseries when they made the “super shit” joke.

“Everyone was asking us for our opinions on it, and I get it. Now, having seen the documentary, it’s so disturbing,” he said. “Now, we’ve watched it, and I get it. If I had just watched especially that third episode and then watched us joking like that … I would be like, ‘Are they sociopaths? Is something wrong with them?'”

Werkheiser also addressed Bell retweeting the TikTok video of them, where the actor-musician wrote, “Ned’s Declassless…this is wild…laugh it up guys…laugh it up…”Give me your h*les?!!” Really?!” The Bad Sister actor said he felt like a “piece of shit” after seeing that.

“I know it looks like I’m laughing at this, and I fucking wasn’t, but I know what it looks like, and that Drake saw it … yeah,” he said on the podcast episode. “I just felt so fucking awful, knowing that Drake saw us in that context.”

Later in the podcast, Shaw noted that, regardless of their not having gone through what other Nickelodeon child actors went through, they shouldn’t have joked about it in any capacity and been insensitive to what everyone else struggled with.

“I hate that this happened. I hate that we compounded any trauma around this situation that means so much to each of us,” Shaw said. “I am sorry. I know that that even when there wasn’t an intention or malice behind things people have done for me, I know that it has just helped me when people meet me where I am and recognize like, ‘Hey that was a gut punch, whether it was intentional or not.'”

Bell wasn’t the only child star to come forward on Quiet on Set. Other actors, as well as crew and writers on The Amanda Show, Zoey 101, iCarly, Victorious and Sam & Cat, opened up in the four-part docuseries about abuse, sexism, racism and inappropriate behavior on the set of the shows, led by Schneider.

In a video exclusively obtained by THR, Schneider addressed the docuseries, noting that he “could see the hurt in some people’s eyes.”

“It made me feel awful and regretful and sorry,” he said. “I wish I could go back, especially to those earlier years of my career, and bring the growth and the experience that I have now and just do a better job and never, ever feel like it was OK to be an asshole to anyone, ever.”

Quiet on Set is streaming on Max now.

Best of The Hollywood Reporter