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Nickelodeon Star Matthew Underwood Reveals Traumatic Past of Sexual Assault

Nickelodeon Star Matthew Underwood Reveals Traumatic Past of Sexual Assault

Former Nickelodeon actor Matthew Underwood, known for his role in “Zoey 101,” shared harrowing experiences of molestation and sexual assault during his childhood and teenage years in an Instagram post.

Underwood recounted being groomed and molested by his best friend’s stepfather at the age of 12, leading to the loss of cherished friendships. At 19, he endured sexual harassment and assault by his agent, prompting him to leave Los Angeles and abandon his acting career.

His revelations came in response to the release of the documentary “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV,” which exposed allegations of abuse and toxic work environments behind some beloved Nickelodeon shows from the 1990s and early 2000s.

Despite his personal ordeal, Underwood clarified that he never encountered mistreatment while working on Nickelodeon productions and harbored no ill experiences with Dan Schneider, the network’s prominent producer. He expressed hope for Schneider’s capacity to evolve and create a positive work environment.

Underwood urged understanding for victims who choose not to speak out publicly and pleaded for an end to pressure on actors to disclose their traumas. He emphasized the need for empathy toward those who have endured similar experiences.

In response to the documentary, Schneider acknowledged past behaviors he regretted and offered apologies. Nickelodeon, while unable to verify or refute historical allegations, affirmed its commitment to investigating formal complaints and maintaining a safe workplace environment.

Underwood’s courageous disclosure sheds light on the pervasive issue of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry and underscores the importance of supporting survivors in their healing journey.

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