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EXCLUSIVE: ‘Blue’s Clues’ host Steve Burns says he felt ‘horror and heartbreak’ watching ‘Quiet on Set’

In Entertainment
April 08, 2024

Steve Burns of “Blue’s Clues” fame is expressing his “heartbreak” over allegations made in “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV,” an explosive documentary about the working conditions on sets of popular Nickelodeon TV shows in the 1990s and 2000s.

Burns, who played Steve from 1996 to 2002 in the Nick Jr. series, shared his reaction to “Quiet on Set” in a recent interview with TODAY.com.

“Nick Jr. and Nickelodeon (programming) were so different,” Burns says. “We’re in New York, they’re in LA. There’s no overlap whatsoever between any of those shows and what we were doing.”

“Blue’s Clues” was part of Nick Jr., a morning block geared toward preschoolers that airs on the network Nickelodeon. Shows that are part of the Nickelodeon portfolio, often referred to as “Nick,” are primarily geared toward kids and teens.

“I don’t have have any particular insight into any of that,” Burns says of the allegations made against Nickelodeon in the Investigation Discovery documentary. “I’m coming to it much the same as anyone else, with horror and heartbreak. It’s just terrible to watch it unfold. I don’t know what else to say, other than that it’s heartbreaking.”

Burns says he’s thinking of those who now have to relive the traumatic memories that have resurfaced with “Quiet on Set.”

“It’s got to be so unfathomably painful. The fact that this is now what everyone’s talking about at the watercooler, it just breaks my heart,” Burns says.

Burns stepped away as host of “Blue’s Clues” in 2002 and briefly returned as Steve in a 2021 clip shared by Nick Jr. that went viral, when he told his child-now-turned-adult fans that he “never forgot” about them.

After that video, Burns made his way onto TikTok, per a friend’s suggestion, and decided to start making simple videos to check in with his followers.

On March 20, three days after “Quiet on Set” came out, Burns shared a video “checking in.” He pressed record, looked right at the camera, asked “What’s going on?” and let a long stretch of silence follow.

Burns did not mention “Quiet on Set.” But many fans, rocked by the recent allegations, took his check in as a chance to share their reactions to the docuseries.

“After the nickelodeon documentary Steve all I need is my blues clues to save whatever is left of this childhood I once had…. 😢,” one fan commented.

“Thank you for being one of the GOOD parts of Nickelodeon, Steve,” another penned.

“After the Nickelodeon thing we need our Steve now more than ever,” a third wrote.

When asked if there was any intention behind when he posts his TikToks, Burns says there’s no “grand strategy.”

“It’s a very simple gesture, and I don’t have a big philosophy around it … that’s part of what makes it kind of cool, is that anyone could do this,” he says.

“Quiet on Set” unspooled over two nights in March. A bonus episode drops April 7 on Investigation Discovery and will be available to stream on Max after.

The docuseries features writers, former child stars and other staff members who worked on popular Nickelodeon shows in the ’90s and 2000s, specifically “All That” and “The Amanda Show.” It largely focuses on the influence producer Dan Schneider wielded on the sets of these shows and his involvement in creating a toxic work environment.

In addition to those who came forward on “Quiet on Set,” including Drake Bell, other former Nickelodeon stars have shared their reactions to the allegations, like Kenan Thompson and Jennie Garth.

On March 13, Nickelodeon said in a comment to NBC News: “Though we cannot corroborate or negate allegations of behaviors from productions decades ago, Nickelodeon as a matter of policy investigates all formal complaints as part of our commitment to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct. Our highest priorities are the well-being and best interests not just of our employees, casts and crew, but of all children, and we have adopted numerous safeguards over the years to help ensure we are living up to our own high standards and the expectations of our audience.”

During a March 19 interview on YouTube with former “iCarly” cast member BooG!e (born Bobby Bowman), Schneider said that he saw the “hurt in some people’s eyes” as he watched “Quiet on Set,” which made him “feel awful and regretful and sorry.”

“The main thing that I would change is how I treat people and everyone,” Schneider said. “I definitely at times didn’t give people the best of me. I didn’t show enough patience I could be cocky and definitely overambitious and sometimes just straight-up rude and obnoxious and I am so sorry that I ever was.”Nickelodeon and Schneider parted ways in 2018.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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