Dan Schneider addresses allegations that he sexualised child stars at Nickelodeon

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A new docuseries, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, has raised disturbing allegations about the popular children’s television channel Nickelodeon and Dan Schneider, their most prolific writer and producer.

Nickelodeon hired Schneider in the 1990s to work on the show All That, which subsequently gave him the opportunity to move on to projects such as The Amanda Show, Kenan and Kel, Drake and Josh and Zoey 101. His tenure as Nickelodeon’s most sought-after writer continued with iCarly, Victorious and Sam and Cat, all of which remain some of the network’s most popular series.

However, in 2018, Nickelodeon severed ties with Schneider after allegations of questionable behaviour came to light. He was accused of verbal abuse and creating difficult atmospheres on set, with evidence found to support these claims.

He was also accused of exhibiting strange behaviour around young female actors, such as posting pictures of their feet online or asking for massages.

Quiet on Set explores these claims in detail, with various actors and crew members alleging that Schneider acted inappropriately during his time at Nickelodeon, such as being “close physically” with stars like Amanda Bynes. 

The show alleges that Schneider often made young actors feel uncomfortable by making them act in scenes which were purposefully loaded with innuendos, placed them in sexually suggestive positions or featured racist and sexist undertones.

Kyle Sullivan from All That explained, “The show is full of these weird, uncomfortable sketches. I think Dan got a kick out of walking a line with that.” 

However, in response to the docuseries, one of Schneider’s representatives has sent a statement to Variety denying such allegations.

“Everything that happened on the shows Dan ran was carefully scrutinized by dozens of involved adults, and approved by the network,” the spokesperson said. “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.”

Additionally, they claim that “All stories, dialogue, costumes, and makeup were fully approved by network executives on two coasts.” The statement adds, “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,” Schneider’s representative concludes.

Schneider was also accused of sexually harassing and verbally abusing female writers, with Christy Stratton explaining that Schneider made it clear he didn’t think women were as capable of writing comedy as men.

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