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Former ‘Zoey 101’ Star Matthew Underwood Alleges Sexual Harassment by Former Agent at Age 19

Former “Zoey 101” star Matthew Underwood has come forward with shocking allegations of sexual harassment and assault by his former agent when he was only 19 years old. In an emotional Instagram post, Underwood revealed that he was betrayed by someone he considered a friend and mentor, leading to a devastating impact on his self-image and ultimately pushing him away from pursuing his acting career.

Underwood explained that he reported the agent to the agency, resulting in his dismissal, but disturbingly, the agent is still actively working in the industry. This traumatic experience led Underwood to leave Los Angeles and step away from acting. The actor expressed his reasons for not speaking out sooner, citing the negative emails he has received and the pressure he faced to join in the conversation surrounding allegations made against other industry figures.

Furthermore, Underwood disclosed that he was also allegedly “groomed and molested” by his best friend’s stepfather when he was just 12 years old. Despite these harrowing experiences, he clarified that he had positive experiences during his time at Nickelodeon, including working with “Zoey 101” creator Dan Schneider. Underwood highlighted the importance of understanding individuals’ reasons for remaining silent in the face of abuse and harassment.

In light of recent revelations in the “Quiet on the Set” documentary, which exposed toxic work environments and allegations of abuse within the entertainment industry, Underwood’s story adds another layer to the ongoing conversation. Several former Nickelodeon stars spoke out against Schneider, accusing him of creating a hostile work environment and mistreating cast and crew members.

Notably, “Josh and Drake” star Drake Bell sued former Nickelodeon dialogue coach Brian Peck in 2004 for sexual abuse, a case that resulted in Peck pleading no contest and serving 16 months in prison. The documentary shed light on the dark side of the industry and prompted discussions about accountability and reform.

Despite Schneider denying the allegations against him, the revelations have sparked a reckoning within the industry, with calls for transparency and accountability. Former Nickelodeon writer Amy Berg referred to Schneider as a “psychological tormenter,” adding to the chorus of voices demanding change.

As survivors of abuse and harassment continue to come forward, it is essential to listen to their stories, support their healing, and work towards creating safer environments for all individuals working in the entertainment industry. Underwood’s courage in sharing his experiences adds to the momentum of the #MeToo movement and emphasizes the importance of speaking out against abuse and misconduct.

Ultimately, as more and more survivors find the strength to share their stories, the industry must confront its dark past and commit to creating a culture of respect, safety, and equality for all.

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