Nickelodeon Creator Dan Schneider Denies Being Creepy With Child Stars – But Admits One Thing…

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[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

The first episodes of Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV have dropped, and they are a disaster for Dan Schneider.

The creator of shows like iCarly and Zoey 101 was a huge deal on Nickelodeon in the early 2000s. But was he big enough that his most disturbing behavior got brushed under the rug? That certainly seems to be what the new docuseries is suggesting. And it lines up all too well with what we’ve been hearing about Schneider for years.

In her memoir, Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy wrote about the “Creator” coming to her costume fittings as well as encouraging her to drink. She never named him, but Schneider created her shows. And in 2022, Zoey 101’s Alexa Nikolas said on a 2022 podcast that Schneider sat in on her costume fittings when she was 12. She also claimed he constantly took photos of child stars’ feet. The Amanda Bynes stuff is particularly upsetting to think about, especially considering her mental issues as an adult.

Related: Drake Bell Blasts Boy Meets World Stars For Defending Child Molester!

Again, those weren’t even the first times we heard folks whispering about what a creep he was behind the scenes. But sometimes it takes a documentary like this to lay it all out for everyone to see.

It seems the doc has already had an effect. It’s gotten Schneider to respond! A rep for the Drake and Josh creator has now issued a response on his behalf, telling Variety:

“Everything that happened on the shows Dan ran was carefully scrutinized by dozens of involved adults, and approved by the network. If there was an actual problem with the scenes that some people, now years later are ‘sexualizing,’ they would be taken down, but they are not, they are aired constantly all over the world today still, enjoyed by both kids and parents.”

So his defense is… Because they were all filmed on mainstream TV and are still out there, it’s proof everything behind the scenes was appropriate? It kinda feels like he’s responding to the argument the shows sexualized the kids — maybe because it’s the easier one to fight? The statement continued:

“Remember, all stories, dialogue, costumes, and makeup were fully approved by network executives on two coasts. A standards and practices group read and ultimately approved every script, and programming executives reviewed and approved all episodes.”

Eventually he got around to addressing what things were like back then:

“In addition, every day on every set, there were always parents and caregivers and their friends watching filming and rehearsals. Had there been any scenes or outfits that were inappropriate in any way, they would have been flagged and blocked by this multilayered scrutiny. Unfortunately, some adults project their adult minds onto kids’ shows, drawing false conclusions about them.”

OK, so what does he have to say about the specific allegations? Like claims of feet pics? Keeping polaroid photos from costume fittings?

Nothing, unfortunately. Apart from trying to imply there were parents or other authority figures around at all times, he doesn’t do a great job of denying what people are really weirded out by. For the most part, it’s not what’s on camera.

Schneider did respond to one particular problem multiple staffers recalled on the docuseries. A number of crew members claimed they would often be asked to massage him. Their boss. Again, these are film crew, not masseuses. So inappropriate. Well, that one Dan can at least admit and apologize for. His team told Variety:

“Dan deeply regrets asking anyone for neck massages. Though they happened in public settings, he knows this was highly inappropriate and would never happen again.”

Hmm.

The network was also asked about the allegations. They too gave a statement, through their spokesperson:

“Though we cannot corroborate or negate allegations of behaviors from productions decades ago, Nickelodeon as a matter of policy investigates all formal complaints as part of our commitment to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct. Our highest priorities are the well-being and best interests not just of our employees, casts and crew, but of all children, and we have adopted numerous safeguards over the years to help ensure we are living up to our own high standards and the expectations of our audience.”

Notice the word doing a lot of work there? “All formal complaints.” Formal. The child stars who weren’t comfortable coming forward then but are saying something now? They didn’t file “formal” complaints. It seems to us, when it comes to children’s safety, even hints and rumors should be investigated.

One more person responded to Variety. Russell Hicks, former president of Nick’s content and production, sang Schneider’s praises to the outlet:

“Dan’s shows transcend children’s television and are staples on many streaming platforms today, enjoyed by both kids and their parents. Dan cared about the kids on his shows even when sometimes their own families unfortunately did not.”

WTF is that supposed to mean? He wasn’t being inappropriately close, he was being a surrogate parent? Tell us, do any parents you know take pics of their kids’ feet? He added:

“What people seem to be forgetting is the fact that the network has a talent management department that is keeping tabs on everything that is happening and going to every event these kids go to… Every single thing that Dan ever did on any of his shows was carefully scrutinized and approved by executives at Nickelodeon.”

If someone responsible was keeping tabs on everyone in every moment, then how did Drake Bell end up getting molested? Dialogue coach Brian Peck went to prison for that — it’s a matter of legal fact now, right? So how did that happen if everything is so strictly monitored?

What do YOU think of all this, Perezcious readers? The next episode of Quiet On Set airs Monday night.

[Iamge via ID/Nickelodeon/YouTube.]



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