Emma Roberts Recalls ‘Unfabulous’ Days on Nickelodeon

Before Emma Roberts gained widespread recognition for her role in ‘American Horror Story’, she had already made a name for herself as the star of Nickelodeon’s ‘Unfabulous’. Recently, Emma opened up about her early years as a child actor, particularly in light of watching the Max documentary series ‘Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV’, which brought to light disturbing allegations from former Nickelodeon stars. 

In an interview, Emma expressed shock and sadness at the revelations in the documentary. She reflected, “I was completely horrified and shocked because that was not my experience. It made me really, really, really sad that that was happening to people that I literally saw often and had no idea.”

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Emma Roberts Unfabulous
Image Courtesy: IMDb

Emma attributed her positive experience on ‘Unfabulous’ to her mother, Kelly Cunningham, and the show’s female showrunner, Sue Rose. She highlighted the rarity of having a female showrunner at that time in the industry. Emma recalled, “For me, my show, ‘Unfabulous,’ the showrunner we had was this amazing woman named Sue Rose. And I didn’t realise at the time, but a female showrunner back then was not very common. But that was my intro into working on a TV show.”

Throughout her time on set, Emma’s mother remained a constant presence, ensuring her daughter’s safety and well-being. Emma recounted, “Even I would be like, ‘You don’t have to be here all the time,’ she was like, ‘I actually do. I’m not letting you out of my sight. You’re not going to a fitting by yourself when you’re 13 years old.'” Despite noting improvements in the industry for both child and adult actors, Emma was deeply affected by the stories shared in the documentary. She admitted, “It makes me really sad… That documentary really kept me up at night.”

Emma also spoke about her aunt, Julia Roberts, a supportive figure in her life and career. While they haven’t yet found the right project to collaborate on, Emma expressed her eagerness to work with Julia. She shared, “It’s never been the right thing. She’s the best, and I want to do something with her. We send each other books and talk about stuff but it hasn’t been right.”

The documentary ‘Quiet on Set’ featured actors from popular Nickelodeon shows such as ‘All That’, ‘The Amanda Show’, and ‘Zoey 101’, who shared troubling experiences working with Dan Schneider, a prominent Nickelodeon showrunner. It also exposed allegations, including claims from Drake Bell about being sexually assaulted by a Nickelodeon employee.

-Sushmita Sarkar