“The View”'s Sunny Hostin questions Ariana Grande's 'silence' on Nickelodeon abuse scandal: 'Complicity or not?'

“The View”'s Sunny Hostin questions Ariana Grande's 'silence' on Nickelodeon abuse scandal: 'Complicity or not?'
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"They shouldn't have to be, as adults, bullied to speak out and support someone," Hostin said on "The View."

The View's legal expert Sunny Hostin has given her verdict on what she called Ariana Grande's "silence" amid the ongoing fallout from the new ID exposé series Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, which outlines alleged mental and sexual abuse that reportedly occurred behind the scenes at Nickelodeon in the 1990s.

Hostin and her View cohosts broke down the scandal at the top of Friday's show, with the Hot Topics conversation eventually shifting to Grande, whose Hollywood breakout began on Nickelodeon programs Victorious and Sam & Cat — with the docuseries even drawing unconfirmed sexual connections between scenes that saw a young Grande trying to get "juice" out of a potato and dumping water over her neck while laying over the side of a bed.

"I often tell people, if you're a true ally, if something is happening in a room, if you see it happening to me ... a true ally says, at that moment, 'Don't do that, you shouldn't do that,'" Hostin said at the top of the segment, referencing other whistle-blowing personalities like Donald Trump's alleged mistress Stormy Daniels, as well as ex-Nickelodeon stars who've yet to publicly discuss the allegations put forth in Quiet on Set.

Sara Haines quickly pushed back, telling her cohost: "Just to clarify, these were kids when this all happened," to which Hostin replied, "They were kids, but I'm saying it applies kind of universally. They shouldn't have to be, as adults, bullied to speak out and support someone."

Ana Navarro reminded Hostin that "everybody goes through their own process of healing with trauma," and suggested that they should be considered victims, too if they were also children at the time: "People need to speak up when they're ready," Navarro added.

<p>ABC; Nickelodeon</p> Sunny Hostin questions Ariana Grande's 'silence' on Nickelodeon abuse scandal

ABC; Nickelodeon

Sunny Hostin questions Ariana Grande's 'silence' on Nickelodeon abuse scandal

Alyssa Farah Griffin, who blew the whistle on Trump, her former boss at the White House, said that "if you witness something as an adult, you have an obligation to speak up," but that the standard is "completely different if you are a child" because "you don't necessarily understand what you're seeing, and we also don't know that these kids were aware of what was going on."

She speculated that part of the problem with "big stars" being called on to speak out — like Grande and Drake & Josh actor Josh Peck — could "come off like they're making the stories [about] themselves by weighing in."

Joy Behar then asked the table what Grande has to do with the ordeal, and questioned if she witnessed anything that allegedly occurred at the channel.

When her cohosts repeated that the point was that no one knows what Grande saw or was aware of at the time, Hostin jumped back in: "But, she is an adult now, so is silence complicity or not?"

Haines again defended Grande, telling Hostin that her cohost's assertion "oversimplifies it" for Grande.

"Knowing what she knows, what she doesn't know, what she experienced, if this is drawing up new things, you're asking all of these people with these new revelations to look back," Haines said. "You're always looking at it through the age you were at at that time. They're having to process through some of this stuff they may not have known about and deal with that. This pressure on celebrities, whether it's speaking up on this when we don't know what they know or don't know, politics, the mob and the town square are not the thing to base what we do in life off of."

EW has reached out to representatives for Grande for comment.

<p>Investigation Discovery/Youtube</p> Drake Bell in 'Quiet on Set'

Investigation Discovery/Youtube

Drake Bell in 'Quiet on Set'

Quiet on Set — featuring Drake Bell’s account of abuse as a teenager and further stories from Zoey 101's Alexa Nikolas and All That's Bryan Christopher Hearne — made headlines following its premiere earlier this month.

The program outlined alleged abuse from Nickelodeon creator Dan Schneider, who devised and executive-produced shows like The Amanda ShowDrake & JoshiCarly, and Zoey 101, but left the network in 2018 following a ViacomCBS investigation that deemed he committed verbal abuse on set, but found no evidence of sexual misconduct, per The New York Times.

A spokesperson for the TV personality shared a statement with EW following the series' debut: “Dan expected and asked a lot from his teams. They worked long hours and consistently made successful shows. In the challenges of production, Dan could get frustrated at times, and he understands why some employees found that intimidating or stressful. In a career spanning 30+ years, Dan worked with thousands of people, many of whom still tell him how much they enjoyed and appreciated working on his shows. But he also knows some people did not have a positive experience, and he is truly sorry for that.”

Nickelodeon also released a statement to EW about Quiet on Set: “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."

The View airs weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on ABC.

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