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Family Matters Star Jaleel White Responds to Quiet on Set Documentary


Jaleel White, the actor best known for playing Steve Urkel on the 1990s sitcom Family Matters, spoke about his time as a child star after a docuseries featuring former show writers and child actors revealed a toxic workplace on Nickelodeon’s sets.


via: EW


In the wake of Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, former child stars have alleged that they faced abuse, prejudice, and a toxic workplace on TV sets — but Jaleel White isn’t one of them.


In an interview with Today, the former Family Matters star said that he felt secure while shooting the hit sitcom. “I always felt safe and protected on set,” White said. “I was lucky.”


“Child actors are having a moment where some of the harsher realities of our business are coming to light,” continued White, who starred as Steve Urkel on the Perfect Strangers spinoff for nine seasons.


In Quiet on Set, former Nickelodeon stars detailed the abuse and hostile work environment they allegedly faced at the network during the tenure of producer Dan Schneider, who oversaw series like All That, The Amanda Show, and Drake & Josh. The doc saw Drake Bell come forward about the repeated sexual abuse he survived from dialogue coach Brian Peck, and actors like Giovonnie Samuels and Bryan Hearne discussed the racism they allegedly endured on All That.


White said that his mother, who also served as his manager, kept him safe as he navigated Hollywood as a young star. “She wasn’t perfect but she did enough to protect me from some of the obvious trappings in the business,” he told Today. “For one thing, she was a helicopter mom. She was all over my ass because the kids that are left alone are the ones that the predators tend to seek out.”


Other former child stars and Nickelodeon actors have also said they were safe on set following the release of the Investigation Discovery series, including Saved by the Bell star Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Ned’s Declassified star Devon Werkheiser, and Taina actress Lisa Lisa.

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