‘Quiet on Set’: The allegations made against Nickelodeon and Dan Schneider

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The new ID docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV focuses on a series of Nickelodeon television programmes created by Dan Schneider, addressing suggestions that many of them appeared to sexualise young child stars. The likes of The Amanda Show, All That, iCarly, Victorious and Sam & Cat are all given air time and feature scenes, including Ariana Grande and Jamie Lynn Spears.

Quiet on Set details several troubling incidents that occurred on the Nickelodeon programmes during the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. Schneider had been accused of sexual misconduct and verbal abuse during his time at the network, but they didn’t part ways until 2018.

The docuseries focuses at one point on the production assistant of All That and The Amanda Show, Jason Handy, who was a “self-proclaimed paedophile”, reportedly sent a picture of himself masturbating to an 11-year-old girl and was later sentenced to six years in prison.

In addition, Jenny Kilgen and Christy Stratton, the only two female writers of the first season of The Amanda Show, describe the experience of working with Schneider and his sexually inappropriate and offensive behaviour, which included asking for massages and showing them pornography.

Young cast members were also allegedly made to feel uncomfortable on the set of the Nickelodeon shows as per sketches that feature racially and sexually insensitive comedy. Furthermore, dialogue coach Brian Peck, who worked on All That and The Amanda Show, was later arrested and convicted of child sexual abuse, had allegedly shown some young cast members a self-portrait from the infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy during a BBQ at this home. Allegations also claim that Peck had sexually abused Drake Bell of The Amanda Show after convincing his mother to let him stay at their house between auditions.

The docuseries also focused at length on Schneider’s short temper on set, and it’s claimed that he would often scream at his cast and crew. Schneider was said to have sought out a physically close relationship with Amanda Bynes, who was just 13 years old when The Amanda Show debuted. Many of the actors in The Amanda Show reported poor mental health and addiction issues in the years that followed.

However, Schneider denied any wrongdoing, and his spokesperson told Variety, “Everything that happened on the shows Dan ran was carefully scrutinised 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 ‘sexualising,’ 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.”

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