An investigation into Dan Schneider, a former Nickelodeon head producer who was fired in 2018, has shed light on new allegations of misconduct during his reign at the children’s cable network, where he allegedly fostered a “maddening, disgusting, controlling little bubble.” ”
He Business Insider The story published Tuesday reported how Schneider, who was once described by the New York Times as “the Norman Lear of children’s television,” allegedly insisted on hypersexualized content in his shows, “the most revealing costumes” for teens and movie theaters. male-dominated writers. and that he also asked for massages on set. The article said that the showrunner “created a strange and uncomfortable environment that he ruled as a fiefdom”; comes on the heels of parallel allegations against an unnamed “Creator” in “iCarly” star Jennette McCurdy’s best-selling memoir “I’m Glad My Mom Died.”
Writers, actors and crew members told Insider they were disturbed by sexualized scenes in Schneider’s scripts, such as a catchy take on “Zoey 101” that imitated a sexual act and involved a young Jamie Lynn Spears. Another case involved a teenage Victoria Justice who had food rubbed on her bare stomach in “Victorious” online extras. Schneider also allegedly created a hostile work environment and traumatized many, the accusers said, while she organized some of the most coveted child acting jobs of the early 2000s.
Representatives for Nickelodeon had no comment Wednesday, and a representative for Schneider did not respond to The Times’ request for comment.
However, Business Insider repeatedly quoted a person close to Schneider who refuted several of the allegations, saying that all of the costumes “were seen and approved by dozens of people, including the actors’ parents and state-licensed teachers on set.” “; that he “never fired a 6-year-old on set”; that it would “include some jokes intended for parents”; and that “he regrets asking someone (massages) and agrees that it was not appropriate, even though it only happened in public places.”
Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon’s former president of content and production, told Insider that a standards and practices group read every script for Schneider’s shows, programming executives watched every episode, and parents and caregivers were always on set. . “Everything Dan did on any of his shows was carefully vetted and approved,” Hicks wrote in a statement to the outlet.
The former child actor joined Nickelodeon in 1993 as a writer for the hit series “All That,” a “Saturday Night Live”-style sketch comedy starring Kenan Thompson and Amanda Bynes. Bynes starred in Schneider’s first series, “The Amanda Show,” which cemented his brand of slapstick comedy that kids loved.
He followed it up with the hits “Zoey 101,” “iCarly” and “Victorious” and turned Nickelodeon into “a $10 billion more power,” the report says. Rising as the mainstay of the cable network, Nickelodeon allegedly gave her immense power that drew actors, child actors, and their families to earn it because it could lead to better career prospects for their favorite cast or crew members, even his own series, according to the report. .
Schneider’s cast and crew described him as an obsessively hands-on creator, executive producer, and writer who maintained a constant presence on set.
“Zoey 101” star Alexa Nikolas, who protested outside Nickelodeon headquarters last week and said publicly that she “didn’t feel safe with Dan Schneider” while working at Nickelodeon, detailed and corroborated several accounts in the report. She described Schneider as volatile and the environment on the set of “Zoey 101” as “traumatizing.” She said she left the network when she was about 13 after a contentious exchange with the sister of her co-star, pop star Britney Spears, which resulted in Schneider later launching a tirade against Nikolas in front of executives at Nick.
“He’s not a nice guy,” Nikolas said. “And Nickelodeon was just letting it happen.”
Nickelodeon was also the subject of a previously unpublicized 2000 gender discrimination and hostile workplace claim in which a writer for “The Amanda Show” said Schneider had made her uncomfortable by persistently requesting massages. Schneider was not named a party in the lawsuit.
network parted ways with Schneider in 2018 under murky conditions, including years of whispering and two investigations into his alleged behavior, specifically that he was verbally abusive.
The Insider reported that McCurdy and his “Sam & Cat” co-star Ariana Grande filed complaints about a producer on their show, who launched an investigation in 2013 into inappropriate behavior on the set of the “iCarly” spinoff. The investigation concluded that Schneider had contributed to the “toxicity,” but McCurdy wrote in his book that at the time, “the Creator” was “no longer allowed on set with any actor.”
the show was cancelled in 2014 after one season, but Schneider remained at Nickelodeon and created two more shows: “Game Shakers” and “Henry Danger.” Nickelodeon’s parent company, Viacom CBS, launched another investigation in late 2017 and early 2018 into Schneider’s “alleged sexual behavior,” according to the report. although it was found no evidence of sexual misconductconcluded that Schneider could be verbally abusive.
Since then, Schneider has kept a low profile, although he was the subject of a New York Times profile to promote the “iCarly” reboot for Paramount+ (which did not feature McCurdy) and said he never acted inappropriately towards his coworkers. Still, the piece was received with any reaction. He, too, has withdrawn from social media since the publication of McCurdy’s memoir this month.