Alexa played Nicole Bristow for two seasons of the hit show, and has spoken at length about her negative experience on set. When the Paramount+ movie was announced earlier this year, she tweeted, "Do NOT support a network that can't even take accountability especially when it comes to CHILDREN. That is beyond low."
In an extensive interview on the H3 podcast conducted yesterday, Alexa broke down exactly what happened between her, Jamie Lynn Spears, and Dan Schneider.
She began by alleging that Schneider would be present for all of her wardrobe fittings, which took place in a "small trailer with a little curtain, and he would always be on the other side" — something that Alexa never experienced since. "He would give inputs, and he would also want the polaroids," she added.
She then discussed an episode that looks very different to her as an adult: "There was an episode where I was supposed to be opening this goo pop and couldn't open it, and it lands on Zoey's face. Instead of having it naturally happen wherever, they ended up having the art production person get a syringe and aim it in a very specific place that Dan wanted. If you look back at that footage, it doesn't sit right."
"After it landed on her face, there was an uproar of laughter, all the guys and boys were laughing, and I ended up hearing one of the boys saying what it reminded him of. At that point, I didn't know what the hell that even meant," Alexa continued, noting that Victorious had a similar shot. "All the adults were laughing along with him, and there's a child there not really understanding."
"The networks are just as complicit in these predatory men behavior types, unfortunately," Alexa added, before later telling a story where she was left alone in a room with Schneider and other executives where she endured "verbal abuse."
"He ended up bringing me into a room at Nickelodeon and degrading me, saying that the show wasn't called Nicole 101, it was called Zoey 101, and that I need to know basically my place here. It was just a very traumatic experience. I was crying in the chair, and it was the last time that I could honestly deal with that kind of situation," she recalled, before saying that she cried to her mother afterwards and said that she "never" wanted to go back to set.
In 2019, Alexa further alleged that Dan Schneider's lawyers tried to get her sign an NDA. "In my personal experience, I don't think I was the only person to get a phone call from Dan Schneider's lawyer," she explained, noting that others may have accepted the "agreement."
When the conversation turned to Zoey herself, Alexa said, "Jamie Lynn Spears created a very toxic, unhealthy work environment." She further claimed that Jamie was "taken aback" by her personality from day one, building until "it became bullying. She would say harsh things to me like, 'Why do you smile so much?' Just kid bully shit. But at that time, it hurt. I was a kid."
Alexa said that Jamie's actions caused a ripple effect through the cast, setting the "culture" of the set overall. "Her not liking me made everyone else feel like they also had to engage in that type of behavior," she continued, further alleging that another cast member pushed her into a rock.
When Victoria Justice joined the cast, Alexa said that she was initially "stoked" as her mom dated her uncle back in college: "We were best friends for the better half of the second season, and then the girl dynamic culture, mean girl situation, ended up happening again with her and Jamie."
"They were bullying me. At one point, Victoria and I were totally fine, then I don't know what happened — it was literally a boy conversation, I remember it being so teenage girl about a boy — I show up to set the next day, and I remember opening up the trailer and seeing Victoria turn around and laugh and whisper into Jamie's ear."
An incident where Alexa was left alone in a trailer with Britney Spears was then brought up. "She just started yelling at me, telling me that I was bullying her sister," she recalled. "She was like, 'I'm going to make sure you don't work again.'"
According to Alexa, Schneider showed up at her trailer after she threw up from the stress of her interaction with Britney and accusatorially asked her, "Now what?" It ended up being her last day on set: "I had to go back on set and get bullied more and humiliated more." Nickelodeon did let her leave, but she claimed that they banned her from the Kids Choice Awards.
Alexa is aware that some people will find all of this to have happened too long ago — or straight up not believe her. However, Britney did apologize to her both publicly and privately last year. "It's the only apology I've gotten in Hollywood," she explained, calling the apology "healing." She added, "To hear someone understand that your feelings are valid, it's okay that it still hurts, and it's okay that there's a wound there — all of us deserve to hear that."