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Should Disney Dump James Marsden?

James Marsden Defended Brian Peck
Credit: Disney

WARNING: The following article mentions and/or discusses topics that may be distressing for certain audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

The late 1990s and early 2000s were some truly great years for Nickelodeon. They were closing in on Disney and had some truly great shows that targeted young kids and tweens. Many millennials fondly remember enjoying shows like Kenan & Kel, All That, The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, Zoey101, iCarly, and so many more.

Quiet on Set Nickeldeon Documentary

Credit: Nickelodeon

Related: Beloved Child Stars Subject of Disturbing New Documentary

Unfortunately, while many of us who enjoyed those shows smile when we remember them, many of the children who worked on those shows don’t remember a time of laughter and fun.

Instead, they remember a time when they were yelled at, belittled, made fun of, and lived in a constant state of fear of Nickelodeon golden boy, Dan Schneider.

And a lot of those terrible times were revealed on a new Investigation Discovery documentary, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.

Dan Schneider Nickelodeon

Credit: Nickelodeon

Related: Is the Infamous Nick Hotel Returning to Orlando? Here’s What We Know

Quiet on Set didn’t only reveal some dark accusations lodged against Dan Schneider. It also revealed that Drake Bell was the young actor behind the arrest of former Disney and Nickelodeon actor and dialogue coach Brian Peck.

Peck was arrested in 2003 on a litany of disturbing charges, including sodomy and lewd acts with a child. He ended up pleading no contest to performing a lewd act on a child and oral copulation with a child under 16.

Brian Peck Boy Meets World

Credit: Disney

During the documentary, it was revealed that a number of big-name celebrities actually wrote letters to the judge in Brian Peck’s defense. This included Boy Meets World stars Rider Strong and Will Friedle, as well as Growing Pains stars Alan Thicke and Joanna Kerns and Saturday Night Live alum, Taran Killam.

Kerns, Friedle, and Strong have all since apologized for their defense of Brian Peck, claiming that they didn’t know what he had actually admitted to doing.

But one person who has remained absolutely silent is Enchanted (2007) star, actor James Marsden.

Disenchanted

Credit: Disney

Marsden was also one of the people who wrote letters in defense of Brian Peck. Marsden reportedly first met Peck when he was a teenager, and they remained friends as he grew older. The Disenchanted (2022) star was 30 years old when he defended Brian Peck, asking a judge for leniency when sentencing the man who admitted to the sexual abuse of a child.

In his letter to the judge, Marsden went on and on about what a great person Brian Peck was. He spoke about all of his redeeming qualities and how much he loved the children that he worked with. He also said that he shared hotel rooms with Brian in the past, and nothing had ever happened between the two of them.

James Marsden Enchanted

Credit: Disney

One piece of his letter that has people talking is where Marsden almost seems to blame Drake Bell for what happened to him. Bell was not known as the victim during Peck’s sentencing. He was only revealed to be Peck’s victim when he admitted it on Quiet on Set. Marsden’s letter reads:

I don’t know what it would take to have something like this occur, but whatever it is, it is extremely out of character for Brian.

I know Brian very well and I know how much he has suffered since August of 2003. Brian is a good person with a very healthy fear and respect for the law and, I assure you, what Brian has been through in the last year is the suffering of a hundred men.

Marsden also promised that Peck had learned his lesson and wouldn’t do something like that again.

James Marsden Enchanted

Credit: Disney

Disney fans will know Marsden as Prince Edward in the beloved 2007 Disney film, Enchanted. He reprised his role in the 2022 sequel, Disenchanted. Disney has not confirmed that a third film is in the works, but the door has been left open.

Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey also reprised their roles in the sequel and would most likely be invited back for a third, depending on the storyline Disney wanted to pursue. However, one has to wonder if Disney should invite James Marsden back if a third film happens.

It would be one thing if Marsden had apologized for his actions, but the actor’s silence is currently saying everything he is not.

James Marsden Enchanted

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Hired Registered Sex Offender to Work on Popular Children’s Show

You can read Marsden’s full letter to the judge here.

Do you think Disney should drop James Marsden from future projects? Let us know in the comments.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and may not reflect the views of Disney Dining as a whole.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

One comment

  1. Do you think Disney should drop James Marsden from future projects?

    Not unless James had been party to Brian’s actions. Some people are not very good judges of character. Apparently Mr. Marsden fall near that catagory. That isn’t a crime, just a shortcoming. Unless he was involved in these criminal acts or is anti Disney like Rachel Zegler, he should be allowed to continue.

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