Joey Lawrence Reflects On Surviving ‘Dark Side’ Of Being A Child Actor


Growing up in the industry, actor Joey Lawrence is "grateful" for his family support system and surviving the "dark side" of early fame as a child actor.

The actor and podcast host recently opened up about the ID docuseries, "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV" and his experience of being a child actor on set in the 80s and 90s.

Joey Lawrence Is 'Grateful' For His Support System


Joey, 47, rose to fame in the 80s with his role on "Gimme a Break!" and then on the 90s hit show, "Blossom" with Mayim Bialik. After hearing allegations from many other child stars from that time, Joey has revealed that he was "very lucky" to avoid the "dark side" thanks to his parents and their involvement.

"So certainly in our industry - in the 80s and 90s, especially - a lot of stuff went down that was not OK. You see a lot of these people talking about it today," Joey recently told Page Six. "My parents were with me the whole time, so there were moments and they were averted because my parents were right there."

Joey, along with his younger brothers Matthew, 44, and Andy, 36, all starred on the sitcom "Brotherly Love" together in their teen years. The "Blossom" star said that their parents, Donna and Joseph Sr. were always around on set.

"I was very close with my family. We went everywhere together and I had that support system," he said. "And it was sort of this impervious wall surrounding me at those very vulnerable moments, you know? I'm very grateful for that."

Joey Lawrence Was Able To Bypass Working With Brian Peck

Joey Lawrence

"Quiet on Set" details accusations of sexism, inappropriate workplace behavior, and racism against former Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider, as well as sexual abuse by acting and dialogue coach Brian Peck.

And while Peck worked on many shows that starred child actors, Joey was able to avoid any exchanges with him.

"Here's the deal. I think everybody sort of knew him because he was in that circle. I ran into him several times. I never worked with him," he said. "He wasn't on 'Brotherly Love.' We didn't have him around. We didn't need him because we were brothers, we were working on our own stuff."

While Joey and his brothers were able to escape the "dark side" of being a child actor in the 90s, his "heart breaks" for those who had to go through it.

"It is sad to see those stories and my heart breaks for everybody who went through those things," Joey said. "You try to come out of it strong. Some people don't come out of it, some people make it. But that just life unfortunately. It happens whether you're in the business, whether you're not in the business. Terrible things happen all the time and we just have to learn from those and pray about them and hopefully the awareness grows so that less and less of it happens. That's all you can do."

Matthew Lawrence Recently Shared A 'Disturbing' Story On The 'Brotherly Love' Podcast

Joey's younger brother Matthew recently shared a "disturbing" offer he received from an A-list director.

"There's been many times in my life where I've been propositioned to get a huge role. I've lost my agency because I went to the hotel room, which I can't believe they would send me to, of a very prominent Oscar award winning director, who showed up in his robe, asked me to take my clothes off, and said he needed to take Polaroids of me. And that if I did X, Y, and Z, I would be the next Marvel character," Matthew revealed.

"I didn't do that, and my agency fired me because I left this director's room."

He continued to talk about how a lot of other "male friends have gone through, with both men and women in this industry" the same thing, and that there's a "double standard."

The clip of the podcast received more than 2.4 million views and thousands of comments.

"Remember when Corey Feldman talked about this and then he never worked again. So sad," one person wrote. Another added, "Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, Brendon Fraiser. I am so glad Matthew is speaking out."

Joey Lawrence And His Brothers Host The 'Brotherly Love' Podcast Together

Joey, Matthew, and Andy have a weekly podcast called “Brotherly Love” where they talk about anything and everything. They share clips on their Instagram and TikTok pages.

Joey described the podcast to be like an "old closet" where you pull things out and just reminisce about it.

“It’s just dinner table conversation. I think that’s really what people are kind of responding to. We’re not a specific show,” he told The Blast.

“We’re not a show where celebrities come on and promote things. We just literally have friends, some of them are celebrities, some of them aren’t. Some of them are near and dear, but they all have special places in our hearts. We have our best friends on, we’ve had both our parents on. It really is dinner table conversation. I think that’s what people have really responded to."

Joey Lawrence Still Says His Iconic 'Whoa!' Often

Joey is well known for his iconic "whoa!" What started out as just a small change in a scene of "Blossom" has turned into a lifelong fan favorite.

"It was one of those things, it was before social media, they had written the line in the script to be more like a Keanu Reeves ‘whoa’ like he said in ‘Speed’ and we had live audiences which was such an amazing experience. And it was in the height of a bunch of teen idols stuff that was going on, it was crazy for me at that time,” Joey exclusively told The Blast. “They gave me this line and nobody really laughed. I had seen this beautiful girl and was like ‘whoa’ and people were like eh and they really didn’t laugh, just a little chuckle.”

After trying the scene a different way, "whoa" took off and stuck with him for about seven years on the show. And even to this day, he's far from sick of it.

"It never really gets old. It was a great part of my life being able to do this at the level I’ve been able to do this for 40-something years is really rare and I worked my butt off but I’ve also been blessed too and very lucky and so I look back on it fondly. It’s really neat,” he said. “The ‘whoa’ has been very kind to me."