Ariana Grande believes child stars should have ‘mandatory’ therapy: ‘The environment needs to be made safer’

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As a former child star, Ariana Grande’s knowledge of how to navigate Hollywood runs deep. 

During an episode of Penn Badgley’s “Podcrushed” podcast on Wednesday, the former Nickelodeon star turned Grammy Award winner opened up about her own experience as a child actor, sharing her thoughts on Investigation Discovery’s “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” docuseries and explaining why she thinks “mandatory” therapy for those young stars working within the industry is necessary. 

“There should be an element that is mandatory of therapy, of a professional person to unpack what this experience of your life-changing so drastically does to you at a young age, at any age,” Grande, who previously starred on Nickelodeon’s “Victorious” and “Sam & Cat,” said.


ariana grande looking over shoulder

Ariana Grande previously starred in Nickelodeon’s “Victorious” and “Sam & Cat.” (Art Streiber/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images))

Diving deeper into the allegations brought against former Nickelodeon showrunner Dan Schneider in the docuseries, Grande admitted that a lot of young stars lack basic support. 

“A lot of people don’t have the support that they need to get through performing at that level at such a young age, but also dealing with some of the things that the survivors who have come forward … there’s not a word for how devastating that is to hear,” said Grande. 

Ariana Grande on "The Voice"

Ariana Grande thinks therapy should be “mandatory” for child actors. (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

“I think that the environment needs to be made safer if kids are going to be acting, and I think there should be therapists, I think there should be parents allowed to be wherever they want to be,” she added. “I think if anyone wants to do this or music or anything at any level of exposure that it means to be on TV or to do music with a major label or whatever, [it] should be in the contract.”


Reflecting on her own personal experience working for the network as a young actress, Grande said she and her castmates undoubtedly “pushed the envelope with [their] humor.”

“And the innuendos were like, we were told and convinced as well that it was the cool differentiation. And I don’t know, I think it all just happened so quickly and now looking back on some of the clips I’m like, ‘That’s… damn, really?’”

“The things that weren’t approved for the network were snuck on to our website or whatever it was, and that is another discovery.  But I’m going into it…I guess I’m upset.”

Ariana Grande wears pink at the Oscars

Ariana Grande said she “pushed the envelope” with her humor during her Nickelodeon days. (Getty Images)

Representatives for Grande did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

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“Quiet on Set” premiered in March, covering the bulk of Schneider’s time at Nickelodeon. As a showrunner, he was alleged to have run a toxic workplace, discriminated against female writers on staff and made requests for massages from employees on set.


The most alarming claim from the documentary came from Drake Bell, who detailed sexual abuse allegations against Brian Peck, an actor and dialogue coach hired by Nickelodeon. 

Last month, Schneider sued the docuseries filmmakers for defamation.

Schneider alleged in his suit that the filmmakers falsely implied he had sexually abused children while working at Nickelodeon.

Dan Schneider

Show creator/executive producer Dan Schneider sued “Quiet on Set” filmmakers for defamation. (Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“While it is indisputable that two bona fide child sexual abusers worked on Nickelodeon shows, it is likewise indisputable that Schneider had no knowledge of their abuse, was not complicit in the abuse, condemned the abuse once it was discovered and, critically, was not a child sexual abuser himself,” the filing obtained by Fox News Digital states. 

“But for the sake of clickbait, ratings, and views — or put differently, money — Defendants have destroyed Schneider’s reputation and legacy through the false statements and implications that Schneider is exactly that.”

Warner Bros. Discovery, which distributed the series through Max under the ID Discovery brand, Sony Pictures Television and Maxine Productions are all named in the suit.


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