After Watching Quiet On Set, A Former Teen Magazine Editor Recalls A Hollywood Starlet Dumping Water Into A Bread Basket To 'Avoid Temptation'

 Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV logo.
Credit: Discovery Investigation

After it became available to Max subscribers this past March, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV sparked conversations about the entertainment landscape. Investigation Discovery’s five-part docuseries centers around the workplace culture at Nickelodeon throughout the ‘90s and early ‘00s.  Throughout the course of the program, a number of former child stars opened up about their negative experiences with the network. Others who found themselves in the young actors’ orbits at that time have spoken out after hearing their stories. And one former teen magazine editor, who watched the doc is now recalling a lunch she had with a starlet, which saw the latter seeking to eliminate the bread that was on the table to “avoid temptation.”

What Did The Journalist Share About Her Experience With The Actress?

Veteran journalist Lauren Brown West-Rosenthal has worked for a number of news outlets over the years, including MTV, Us Weekly and Glamour. She earned her big break, however, when she landed an editor job at the now-defunct CosmoGIRL!. In that position, West-Rosenthal was able to speak with a number of teen stars during the early aughts. She detailed those experiences in an essay she penned for The Today Show. Among her recollections was one particular meet-up with an unnamed actress, who apparently dumped water onto her basket of bread:

I once went to lunch with an up-and-coming starlet who took two bites of her salad before unscrewing the bottle of salt on the table and dumping the contents all over her uneaten lettuce. She then poured an entire glass of ice water into the breadbasket to avoid temptation — for her and everyone else at the table. It made for an awkward transition to then ask her questions about body positivity and self-esteem.

Through her Quiet on Set piece, the former OK! Magazine employee contemplates what she could’ve done differently while interacting with the young actors. Considering what we now know, she considers whether she should’ve asked different questions and ponders if she should’ve known about what was allegedly happening to them at the time. As for the starlet she had lunch with, the veteran editor went on to share more – including a specific regret she has:

I’m sure she was under immense pressure and felt her job was on the line if she could not fit into the same sizes as her naturally petite co-stars. There was certainly a lack of sensitivity they were experiencing on set. I wish now that I did not take that star’s word for it when she assured me that she was OK and loved ‘pigging out’ on her days off.

As a whole, this reported experience seems to illustrate the specific beauty standards that are set within Hollywood. The “lack of sensitivity” that Lauren Brown West-Rosenthal mentions in regard to body image extended to other aspects of the ex-child actors’ experiences. That assertion is based on the comments shared by those who were employed by Nickelodeon during the stretch of time highlighted during the ID-produced show.

What’s Been Said By Former Nick Actors?

More on Quiet on Set

Kirk Cameron on TBN
Kirk Cameron on TBN

Kirk Cameron Calls Out The ‘Twisted Sickness Of Hollywood’ While Commenting On Brian Peck In The Aftermath Of Quiet On Set

One person to speak out about their experiences was All That alum Bryan Hearne, who spoke about stereotypes and recalled being put in demeaning situations as a young Black actor. Amanda Show vet Raquel Lee spoke out as well, saying that she “struggled” to be part of the documentary due to the “pain” that the industry has caused her. Someone who was prominently featured on the docuseries was Drake Bell, whose sexual abuse at the hands for former dialogue coach Brian Peck was revealed.

These actors and many others worked on shows that were created by ex-Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider, whose tenure at the network coincided with the time period covered by the docuseries. Following its release, the Victorious and Henry Danger creator faced backlash and, in time, Schneider issued an apology via a 19-minute video. His response was subsequently panned by several commenters, with Zoey 101 alum Alexa Nikolas blasting the apology and saying she felt no “remorse” from Schneider, who is also suing over the doc.

One can’t say for sure whether the polarizing documentary will spark true change within the entertainment industry and its handling of young talent. However, it would seem that it’s, at the very least, given Lauren Brown West-Rosenthal and more new perspectives on their work within and around the business. Those who’ve yet to watch the series can still stream it on Max or Discovery+ now.