Nickelodeon raised an entire generation of children with its programming during the 1990s and 2000s, but did it come at the cost of the well-being of the child actors involved?

Investigation Discovery’s new documentary, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, explores the side that many did not see when hit shows like All ThatThe Amanda Show and more were on the air.

Quiet on Set takes a deep dive into allegations against Dan Schneider (the former producer on the aforementioned shows and other hit series) as well as other adults. The allegations included “abuse, sexism, racism, and inappropriate dynamics with its underage stars and crew.”

“Over the course of the past five or six years, there’s been a lot of things happening via racial equity and inclusion in Hollywood and there are stories that haven’t been told and stories that have been told,” Bryan Hearne, former cast member of All That who appears in the series to share his side of things, told Blavity’s Shadow and Act. “Once we got together as family and friends, we kind of decided when we get the platform we should start really talking about what we went through as child stars.”

Giovonnie Samuels echoed the sentiment, opening up to us about the pressures they dealt with as they entered the industry at a young age. Samuels also discussed embarking on this new journey of sharing the details of their childhood experiences.

“What you don’t know in that battle — I say this without sounding cocky or arrogant — but you don’t know that you’re a legend when you’re doing what you’re doing,” she explained. “So 20 years later, it was like, ‘Oh my God, now I’m seeing how much I impacted so many people’ because you have to remember social media wasn’t really a thing.

“We were the last generation of [child] actors, it sounds so crazy, but we were the last generation of actors where you had to run home to see the show to see us. So, to have that status and for people to recognize me as that, I’m internally grateful. I’m extremely humble about it. I appreciate it. I don’t want to change anybody’s experience,” Samuels continued. “We’ve had a lot of beautiful moments and I love when everyone comes to me and says, ‘Girl, you were my TV cousin.’ And I’m like, look, we grew up together and with an experience like this, you have to take the good with the bad, and I choose to focus on the positive.”

At one point in Quiet on Set, Hearne’s mother opens up about what it was like as a parent when things seemingly were going awry on set. Hearne admitted that although it did strain their relationship when he was first cut from the All That cast, years of healing and growth have improved things.

“We went through ups and downs,” he said. “My mom and I, we’ve had very hard conversations. There are times where we weren’t speaking, we were speaking, and then we were speaking … and so now, as a Black man in therapy, and my mom has been working on healing as well, we’re kind of diving into the hard conversations, and seeing this documentary was quite eye-opening. We had a very recent conversation that was like, ‘Oh my God, you saved my life.’ So it’s been over the course of 20 years that we’ve had very necessary conversations.”

Despite the dark side of what they went through, Samuels’ resilience remains in focusing on the good things, like the history she made simply by existing in the Nickelodeon space.

During the conversation, she took a minute to pause and reflect to share what she would tell the version of herself who appeared on the screen for so many children and families watching from home.

“You’re doing it, enjoy it,” Samuels said she would tell her younger self. “You are more than beautiful. You are opening the door, you’re setting your path.”

She continued: “I was the third person in Nickelodeon history to have locs, and now it’s celebrated everywhere. I didn’t know that I had that big of an impact on so many people. You get so caught up in the grind and the work of it that you don’t take the time to celebrate your own flowers for yourself.”

When it’s all said and done, the hope is to change the narrative for the current generation and those to come.

“The biggest takeaway is the changes that need to take place within the industry as far as how children and parents are treated on set,” Hearne said. “I just hope that parents wise up. I hope that people who are in charge become either afraid or just courageous and say, ‘The way that we’ve been handling things is not the way, so let’s do something different. Let’s make people safe.’

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV is now available to stream on Investigation Discovery and Max.