REVEALED: Nickelodeon employed 5 men who were convicted of child molestation, pornography, 2 accused pedophiles

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

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Children and teen-focused network Nickelodeon has been revealed to have employed or worked with five child molesters, as well as two others that have been accused of pedophilia.

Molesters who worked on the set include Jason Handy, a production assistant who had sexual contact with an 11-year-old girl who worked as an extra on The Amanda Show, and Brian Peck, who molested child star Drake Bell when he was 15. These two men were detailed in the Investigation Discovery series Quiet on Set: the Dark Side of Kids TV. 

Peck later went on to work at Disney after his conviction. Bell himself was later convicted of distributing child pornography after allegations were raised that he had groomed and sexually abused a 15-year-old.

According to the Daily Mail, others included Ezell Channel, a production assistant who was hired after a child sex offense conviction and then was arrested for sexually assaulting a teen at the studio, Marty Weiss, a talent manager who had clients on top Nickelodeon shows and was convicted for "lewd acts" with a 12-year-old male client, and Cody Longo, the star of the Nick at Night show Hollywood Heights who was accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl in Colorado in 2019 and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in 2021.

A Nickelodeon spokesperson told the Daily Mail that it "investigates all formal complaints" and is committed to "fostering a safe and professional workplace environment free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct."

Channel was convicted in 2003 for "lewd acts" with a child under 14 and was released on probation less than two years later. He was hired at Nickelodeon despite the conviction.

In 2005, a mother reported him to the police after he began spending time with her teenage son and she found Channel on the Megan’s Law sex offender registry website. In November 2005, prosecutors accused Channel of luring a 13 and 14-year-old into the Nickelodeon studio, showing then pornography, and touching them inappropriately. He was convicted again and released in 2010.

Handy, as mother MJ detailed in the Investigation Discovery series, sent photos of himself masturbating to her daughter Brandi. During a police investigation, they found that Handy had described himself as a "pedophile, full blown" in his journal.

Handy pleaded no contest to felony counts of lewd acts with a child, distributing sexually explicit material, and a misdemeanor charge of child sexual exploitation. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

Handy went on to reoffend, and was charged in North Carolina in 2014 for indecent liberties with a child and sex offender registry violations. He is in federal prison in Virginia is scheduled for release in 2038.

Weiss represented child clients who appeared on popular shows such as Nickelodeon’s iCarly and Disney’s Good Luck Charlie. One former client told police in 2012 that Weiss had molested him between 30 and 40 times over a three-year period, when the boy was between 11 and 12 years old. Weiss was sentenced in June 2012 to one year in county jail and five years of probation.

In addition to convictions of people who worked on set, Joby Harte, a talent manager who appeared in episodes of True Jackson Vp and worked as a warm-up act for live studio audiences, was found liable in February of repeatedly sexually abusing Ricky Garcia, a Disney star and boyband member. Garcia was awarded $6.5 million in a civil trial.

Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi has been accused of sexual misconduct with two teen girls he employed.

In 2018, the creator’s lawyer said that "for a brief time, 25 years ago, he had a 16-year-old girlfriend," and described his behavior toward one of the girls as an "avid pursuit," not sexual harassment.

Child safety activist Gabe Hoffman told the Daily Mail that the issue of hiring pedophiles in Hollywood still persists. "Convicted pedophiles still get hired in Hollywood today. Sex offenders worked with children at Nickelodeon, and unless the industry makes changes, more children in Hollywood will end up getting abused."

In 2012, a law was passed in California to stop convicted pedophiles from working with children, requiring background checks and permits.

Hoffman told the outlet that those regulations are regularly flouted.

"Investigations have demonstrated this important law is mostly ignored by Hollywood, and state and local law enforcement appear to have little interest in enforcing it."

"For example, in 2018, Olivia Munn was forced to publicly out a convicted pedophile actor in the film Predator, a set on which minors were present, as the Director and Studio refused to act. She was later shunned by her co-stars for doing so."

"Why do the big Hollywood unions, such as SAG-AFTRA, allow convicted pedophiles to remain members?" Hoffman asked.

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