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Kids’ TV network was ‘infiltrated by predators’ – Daily Mail

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One Nickelodeon production assistant described himself as a “full-blown” pedophile.

The Nickelodeon children’s TV channel employed or worked with five convicted child molesters and two other accused pedophiles, according to court records and news reports reviewed by the Daily Mail. At least one of the abusers was hired despite offending before he joined the Paramount-owned American network.

Three of the convicted molesters were profiled in a new HBO documentary series on pedophilia and abuse in the kids’ entertainment industry. One of them, acting coach Brian Peck, molested Nickelodeon star Drake Bell, served 16 months in prison, and went on to work with the Disney Channel, before executives found out about his conviction.

The other, production assistant Jason Handy, worked for alleged abuser Dan Schneider at the network during the late 1990s. Handy was jailed in 2004 for sexually abusing a nine-year-old girl, and for possession of tens of thousands of images of child pornography. When police raided his Los Angeles home, they found a diary in which he described himself as a “pedophile, full blown.”

Ezell Channel worked as an animator at Nickelodeon, until he was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2009 for molesting a 14-year-old boy on set. He was also accused of luring two teenage boys to his workplace, showing them pornography, and inappropriately touching them. Channel had allegedly been hired by the network despite an earlier conviction for child sex abuse.

The two other convicted sex offenders were identified by the Daily Mail as talent agent Marty Weiss, who committed “lewd acts” with a preteen client, and teen star Cody Longo, who pleaded guilty to molesting a nine-year-old girl in 2021.

California passed a law in 2012 mandating background checks for anyone working with child actors. However, documentary filmmaker Gabe Hoffman told the newspaper that “this important law is mostly ignored by Hollywood, and state and local law enforcement appear to have little interest in enforcing it.”

“Convicted pedophiles still get hired in Hollywood today,” Hoffman said. “Sex offenders worked with children at Nickelodeon, and unless the industry makes changes, more children in Hollywood will end up getting abused.”

A Nickelodeon spokesperson told the British tabloid that the company “investigates all formal complaints” and is committed to “fostering a safe and professional workplace environment free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct.”

Nickelodeon is not the only children’s entertainment company accused of harboring pedophiles. After five Disney World employees were arrested in two wider sting operations in Florida in 2022, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters that “we always have a Disney employee” in custody after these stings.

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