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‘Boy Meets World’ Actors Reflect on History with Brian Peck


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Photo: David Livingston/FilmMagic

Rider Strong, Will Friedle, and Danielle Fishel devoted the entirety of their February 19 episode of Pod Meets World to their experiences with Boy Meets World guest star and convicted sexual abuser Brian Peck. The co-hosts were joined by family therapist Kati Morton to discuss the time Friedle said they were “on the wrong side of everything.” Peck guested on two season 5 episodes of Boy Meets World, and developed a friendship with both Friedle and Strong. The cast felt a need to address Peck because his episodes are coming up in the podcast (the pod’s format is usually more episode recap-oriented), and because Peck’s story will be featured on an upcoming docuseries about past alleged abuse on multiple Nickelodeon sets. Fishel said both Strong and Friedle were contacted for statements on Peck for this docuseries, Quiet on Set.

“I didn’t really go to parties. I didn’t really do that stuff. But I was working a lot after Boy Meets World and this guy had so ingratiated himself into my life, I took him to three shows after Boy Meets World,” Friedle said. “The person he presented was this great, funny guy who was really good at his job, and you wanted to hang out with. I saw him every day, hung out with him every day, talked to him every day.” Strong also said he used to hang out with Peck “all the time,” despite being 20 years apart in age.

Fishel conjectured that many adults on the set of Boy Meets World avoided questioning the relationship because they didn’t want to come across as homophobic. “The other adults on set, who maybe could have or should have said… ‘Why is this guy going to Rider’s house for a party?’ There was probably a part of them that didn’t say it because they were afraid it was going to be taken as homophobia,” she said, “instead of, ‘This is a boundary, gay or not. This is a boundary between adults and kids.’”

In 2003, Peck was charged with and eventually convicted of of a lewd act against a child and oral copulation of a person under 16. Friedle said Peck immediately began spinning his arrest “where it wasn’t his fault, it was clearly the fault of his victim.” Strong said Peck described himself as a victim of jailbait, and downplayed the severity and number of offenses. “Back then, you couldn’t Google to find out what people were being charged with,” he said. “So in retrospect, he was making a plea deal and admitting one thing — which is all he admitted to us — but it looks like he was being charged with a series of crimes, which we did not know.”

Friedle and Strong both wrote letters to the judge in support of their friend, and appeared in court at sentencing. “We’re sitting in that courtroom on the wrong side of everything … The victim’s mother turned and said, ‘Look at all the famous people you brought with you. And it doesn’t change what you did to my kid,’” Friedle said. “I just sat there wanting to die. It was like, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ It was horrifying all the way around.”

“We weren’t told the whole story, but it doesn’t change the fact that we did it,” Friedle said. “I still can’t get the words out to describe all of the things that I’m feeling inside of myself.”

Vulture has attempted to contact Peck for comment.

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