A series of protests over the prevelance of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry have been staged in front of prominent music companies in recent weeks, and the efforts have been gaining attention on social media via actor Alexa Nikolas. A former cast member of the 2005-2008 Nickelodeon series “Zoey 101,” Nikolas’ megaphone includes more than 255,000 followers on Instagram as well as the public support of such activist groups as the 100 Percenters.
Her own organization is called Eat Predators, and its supporters have gathered in front of Warner Music Group’s Los Angeles headquarters on July 28; Red Light Management’s L.A. office on July 21; and Sony Music’s Culver City lot last week where about a dozen protesters held signs referencing artists affiliated with the label group who have been accused of sexual misconduct and abuse.
Though a small group, the Aug. 18 gathering Sony elicited honks from cars and stares from staffers and visitors. Video posted from the protest received more than 80,000 views in less than a day. On Aug. 25, she went live on Instagram from outside Nickelodeon offices in Burbank.
“The #MeToo movement totally skipped over the music industry by a long shot,” Nikolas tells Variety. “So I was like, what do you do about this systemic problem within the music industry?”
In 2021, Nikolas went public with allegations of sexual abuse against her ex-husband, Michael Milosh of the indie R&B band Rhye. Milosh has strongly denied these claims; Nikolas withdrew the lawsuit without prejudice in May.
Today, Nikolas reflects, “It shouldn’t be a woman having to trail blaze, it should be on the industry itself. … Because a predator’s gonna come and go — there’s always going to be a predator. But if they don’t have a safe haven, then they can’t really perpetuate that abuse.”
Eat Predators expanded its focus beyond music with the decision to protest outside Nickelodeon. This followed the recent release of former Nickelodeon child star Jennette McCurdy’s memoir, in which McCurdy claims she was pressured by the company not to go public with allegations against someone she refers to only as “The Creator.”
Though Nikolas was reticent to expand Eat Predators’ efforts to television, she said having a 2-year-old daughter changed her view to one of responsibility.
Says Nikolas: “I looked at my daughter, I was like, ‘Alexa, this is children we’re talking about. We’re talking about your daughter’s future.’ Whatever career path she wants to go into, it’s my job as a mom to do all that I can to make these environments safer for her and take all the knowledge that I’ve personally learned from being in the industry and teach others about it.”
Nikolas says she hopes the music business can figure out a way to “come to an absolute concrete understanding and agreement that we as a society no longer protect predators and punish survivors.” She commends Beyoncé’s reported process of vetting her “Renaissance” collaborators for any sexual misconduct allegations as a step in the right direction that should be “everyday practice,” with the responsibility falling on the label rather than the artist.
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