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Dan Schneider Speaks ON CAMERA After Nickelodeon Doc -- And Addresses SOME Allegations...

Dan Schneider Speaks Out On Camera Following Nickelodeon Doc Controversy -- Hear What He Has To Say

Dan Schneider is stepping in front of cameras to address some of the controversy surrounding his Nickelodeon legacy.

With the release of Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids’ TV, all eyes have been on Schneider. Creepy stories have come out about the kid show mogul for the past few years as grownup child actors have felt more confident speaking out. But this doc is really shining a light, like its title suggests, on the dark side of Nickelodeon in the late ’90s through the early 2010s. And Schneider is at the top of it all.

Related: Drag Race Star Shangela Accused Of Assault By Multiple Men

Thus far the doc’s most talked-about moments have been Drake & Josh star Drake Bell coming forward about being sexually abused by dialogue coach Brian Peck, and the unanswered question of just how much time Dan spent with teen Amanda Bynes. See the trailer (below):

When it comes to Schneider, this isn’t exactly new. In 2022, Zoey 101 alum Alexa Nikolas claimed on a podcast that Schneider “had a digital camera and would go around with money and ask to take photos of the kids’ feet.” ICK. She also claimed he sat in on her costume fittings when she was just 12 YEARS OLD! It was only later in her post-Nickelodeon career she learned producers never go to costume fittings.

Similarly, iCarly star Jennette McCurdy spoke in her memoir about the “Creator” coming to HER costume fittings for that show and its sequel series Sam & Cat. She also said the “Creator” encouraged her to drink alcohol while she was underage. She never named him, but Dan created both shows… and TONS of others. Between all that and the creepy footage of him and Amanda in a hot tub together when she was just 16… It’s all just been so icky.

On Monday, Dan came forward through a rep to respond to the docuseries. But he failed to deny being creepy with the Nickelodeon kids. Instead, it was mostly a response to the accusation he was sexualizing the kids on the shows. Meaning with the scripts he was writing for them, that kind of thing. While that argument may have its place, we’re much more worried about what was happening to the kids off-camera.

NOW, with more and more stories coming to light, he changed tactics. He decided to step out from behind his rep to speak for himself.

On Tuesday, Dan sat down for an interview with BooG!E, who famously played T-Bo on iCarly. He said he has now watched the first two episodes of the Quiet on Set docuseries. This is what he had to say in response:

“When I watched the show, I could see the hurt in some people’s eyes and it made me feel awful and regretful and sorry. I wish I could go back, especially to those earlier years of my career, and bring the growth and the experience that I have now and just do a better job and never, ever feel like it was okay to be an a**hole to anyone, ever.”

OK, sounds like apologies coming, right? Well, a little bit…

Like the previous statement, he does bring up making kids do things on camera that they were uncomfortable with. In particular he talked about the On Air Dare sketches:

“When I was watching the show over the past two nights, I now know that there were kids who did have problems with the On Air Dares and it breaks my heart and I’m so sorry and I’m so sorry to any kid who ever had to do a dare or anything that they didn’t want to do or weren’t comfortable doing.”

Like we said, he’s addressing the idea his shows had inappropriate content. Not the accusations he was inappropriate with the kids on the set. He’s ignoring the much more serious charges as far as we’re concerned.

You’ll find that through his 19-minute interview, he talks a LOT about how he wishes he would have treated people on set better, and how he should have not asked crew members for massages… But like his Monday statement, he didn’t address any of the more twisted allegations about sitting in on costume fittings, keeping polaroid pics from them, taking pics of kids’ feet, or his eyebrow-raising relationship with Amanda. He did, however, address the Drake Bell situation, which he calls the “darkest part” of his career. He said:

“When Drake and I talked and he told me about what happened, I was more devastated by that than anything that ever happened to me in my career thus far. And I told him, ‘I’m here for you. What do you need?’”

He went on to subtly call out the celebs who wrote letters on behalf of Brian Peck, and how “baffling” that was. He even broke down into tears recounting a run-in he had with Drake’s mother at the time:

“She came to me at the time, and she said, ‘Dan, I’m not good with words like you are. And would you help me with my speech for the judge? I said, ‘of course.’ I did and [Brian] ended up going to prison and serving his time.”

See? See how he’s implying he helped get the guy convicted? He was the hero here! And it’s not the only time he makes himself the hero of the story.

Obliquely addressing how close he was with Amanda Bynes — who was 16 or 17 years old at this time — he tells a story about when she needed to be separated from her parents.

“It was very late. Well, after midnight, or one or two in the morning, the phone rang. I answered it and it was Amanda. She was in distress. She had had some conflict with her parents, I think her father, and she called. I was immediately concerned for her safety.”

Schneider says he arranged for his young lead to be picked up from her home and taken to somewhere safe:

“I felt better. She ended up being taken to the police.”

You see how he’s like a father figure to her in this story? It’s not an inappropriate relationship, he’s the only one she feels like she can trust in a scary situation with her parents. You know, her actual legal guardians. He saved her from them. They were the problem, not him. That’s weird, right? Given the context of all the other stuff?

But still, no mention of those upsetting allegations against HIM. It’s almost like he’s trying to distract from any of that. He even skipped out on talking about it when revealing what he would “change” if he could go back in his career. He said:

“The main thing that I would change is how I treat people and everyone. I definitely at times didn’t give people the best of me. I didn’t show enough patience. I could be cocky and definitely over-ambitious, and sometimes just straight up rude and obnoxious and I’m sorry that I ever was.”

“Over-ambitious”?? That’s like the type of thing someone says in a job interview when they’re asked to name their worst quality. That isn’t an apology! But like we said, he did apologize a bit. On having staff members massage him, he said:

“It was wrong. It was wrong that I ever put anyone in that position. It was wrong to do. I’d never do it today. I’m embarrassed that I did it then. I apologize to anybody that I ever put in that situation.”

And for pranks and jokes in the writers’ room that others felt crossed a line?

“Let me just say, no writer should ever feel uncomfortable in any writer’s room, ever. Period. The end. No excuses.”

OK, but again that’s far from the worst allegations. He’s responding like he’s Jimmy Fallon being accused of fostering a toxic workplace, and that’s all. But like Fallon, there’s far worse to answer for, and he just isn’t doing it! What he is doing is making excuses — pointing out how inexperienced he was:

“I can tell you why it hurts really bad for me. I was green. I was scared. I was excited. It meant the world to me that I was getting these opportunities. And I went in and I got lucky, because my first couple experiences were fantastic. And the fact that I didn’t pay it forward to every employee that walked through my door, it hurts my heart because I should have and I wish I could go back and fix that.”

We imagine he’s talking about his early career as a writer. After being a teen actor himself, in movies like Better Off Dead and the high school show Head of the Class, he got early opportunities writing on All That — and spun that into a career creating some of the most successful kids’ shows ever. And now that entire empire is tainted by accusations he just refuses to face head on.

Watch his full interview (below):

What are your thoughts after hearing him speak?? Does this change things? Let us know down in the comments.

[Images via DanWarp & Nickelodeon/YouTube]

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Mar 19, 2024 15:38pm PDT