Why Was Drake Bell Cancelled?

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Drake Bell

Fans are now looking back to Drake Bell's past and why he was canceled after his appearance in the new Max documentary, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.

Quiet on Set detailed various higher-ups at Nickelodeon accused of abuse and assault on multiple TV sets from the 1990s and 2000s, much of it centered on former executive Dan Schneider.

Episode 3 brought in Drake Bell for his first public comments on the matter after he moved to Mexico. Still, it also comes after his experience with accusations similar to those against Schneider.

Explaining Why Drake Bell Was Cancelled

Drake Bell in Quiet on Set
Drake Bell

Former Drake & Josh star Drake Bell was accused of verbal and physical abuse by his ex-girlfriend, Melissa Lingafelt, in a TikTok video from August 2020 (which has since been deleted). She also accused him of allegedly inappropriate behavior toward underage girls, all of which led to Bell being publicly canceled.

Variety reported on the video as Lingafelt detailed how "the verbal abuse started" about a year after she started dating Bell. She described it as "the worst type of verbal abuse you could ever imagine" before the abuse became physical as well:

"First, I would like to start out with saying I don’t really care if anyone believes me as this is my story and my life and something I went through. It wasn’t until recently that I actually realized that abuse is something that all women have to go through. When I started dating Drake, I was 16. I was home-schooled, I moved in with him, I was singing. It wasn’t until about a year when the verbal abuse started. And when I say verbal abuse, imagine the worst type of verbal abuse you could ever imagine, and that was what I got. It then turned into physical — hitting, throwing, everything. At the pinnacle of it, he drug me down the stairs of our house in Los Feliz. My face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this."

After that statement, she explained how she did not "even want to get into the underage girls thing," noting that she would do it even though she was scared.

Bell's representative replied to that accusation with a response from the former Nickelodeon star saying he never abused his ex-girlfriend, claiming that her accusations were false. He attributed the quotes to a bad break-up between them a decade prior, admitting that they both called each other horrible names.

According to Bell, Lingafort was comfortable enough with him to ask for financial support during a difficult time. He was adamant about standing firm against the allegations as he looked into his legal options.

However, as reported by News 5 Cleveland in June 2021, Bell was indicted for child endangerment. Specifically, this is defined as a parent, guardian, or other adult caregiver allowing a child to be in a dangerous unhealthy, or inappropriate situation, which some states charge as a type of child abuse.

Said to have happened in 2017, Bell was charged with attempted endangering children, a fourth-degree felony, and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles (a first-degree misdemeanor).

A 15-year-old victim filed a report with her local Canadian police department in October 2018 about an incident involving her and Bell. This took place at a Cleveland, Ohio nightclub on Old River Road, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to investigators, this victim established a relationship with Bell several years before the incident and attended one of his music concerts in December 2017.

Per The Daily Beast, Lingafelt commented on his arrest, describing that incident as "a prime example of what [she] would witness" him doing with "extremely underage girls." This was reportedly a regular occurrence with him as she detailed some of the disturbing things she saw on his computer:

"What he’s being arrested for right now is a prime example of what I would witness, him having inappropriate conversations online with underage girls. I saw really questionable, crazy shit on his computer. The stuff he’d be looking at was fucking insane. I don’t pray that people will come forward, I just know that they will."

As reported by Deadline, Bell entered a guilty plea in court and was subsequently sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service. He was also barred from having any contact with the victim.

Detailed by Fox News, the victim offered the following statement after calling Bell a pedophile and accusing him of sexual misconduct and sending her sexually explicit photos and messages when she was a teenager

"The pain that the defendant has caused me is indescribable, and it worsens every day. Being used by somebody who meant the world to me has left me feeling more hurt than I have ever been before."

Bell's lawyer denied those claims to be true during his rebuttal statement.

Bell then addressed the guilty plea and verdict on Instagram in a video from September 2021, calling the news about him "entirely false and wrong." He noted that he "didn't get arrested" and "didn't go to jail," although he still admitted to making mistakes by responding to an underage fan before he knew she was underage.

The first four episodes of Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV are now streaming on Max. In a surprising move, Max also announced a fifth episode of the documentary, which will arrive on Sunday, April 7.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.