Dan Schneider, ex-Nickelodeon producer, apologizes for on-set behaviour – National

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Former Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider has apologized for his “embarrassing” on-set behaviour in a brand new interview that addresses claims he sexualized former youngster stars and created a poisonous work setting.

Schneider produced among the hottest kids’s tv reveals of the 2000s and 2010s, together with The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, iCarly and Victorious. In current years, Schneider, 60, has seen his TV empire crumble amid accusations of bullying and inappropriate interactions with the kid stars and crew members who labored on his reveals.

On Tuesday, Schneider posted an almost 20-minute-long interview by which he responds to a number of allegations made towards him in Investigation Discovery’s new four-part docuseries entitled Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV. He was interviewed by the actor BooG!E, who received the admiration of tween followers for his comedic portrayal of the character T-Bo on iCarly. 

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“Watching over the past two nights was very difficult — me facing my past behaviours, some of which are embarrassing and that I regret. I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology,” Schneider mentioned.

“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,” he continued. “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 OK to be an a—hole to anyone, ever.”

“I can tell you why it hurts really bad for me,” Schneider mentioned of the allegations towards him.

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“I was green. I was scared. I was excited. It meant the world to me that I was getting these opportunities,” he recalled. “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.”

Schneider left Nickelodeon in 2018 following an investigation that discovered he’d been verbally abusive to a number of workers members.

Sexualized scenes that includes youngster stars

Much of the complaints towards Schneider — posed each by ex-child stars and former followers of his work — are to do with seemingly sexualized jokes acted out by minors in his TV reveals.

Some of those scenes, a lot of which have resurfaced on social media lately, have been known as hypersexual or delicate fetish content material by Schneider’s accusers and the now-adult, retrospective viewers of his packages. Examples of such scenes embrace a teenage Ariana Grande sucking on her personal toes in Sam and Cat or footage of Schneider consuming spaghetti in a sizzling tub with a younger Amanda Bynes whereas filming The Amanda Show.

When requested by BooG!E in regards to the sexualized jokes, Schneider appeared to shift among the blame onto higher-ups at Nickelodeon.

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“The notion that I had the power to write whatever I wanted and have it air is completely false,” he mentioned. “There were many, many levels of scrutiny. We had executives in LA, we had executives in New York. Two coasts of approval.”

Schneider mentioned every part from his writing to wardrobe, make-up, sound and set decisions for his reveals needed to be accepted by his bosses, who had been Nickelodeon executives.

However, Schneider did agree that among the jokes in his reveals went too far. He mentioned the inappropriate scenes needs to be reduce from episodes which are nonetheless airing on Nickelodeon or can be found to stream on-line.

“Every one of those jokes was written for a kid audience because kids thought they were funny and only funny,” Schneider defended. “Now, we have some adults looking back at them 20 years later through their lens, and they’re looking at them and saying, ‘I don’t think that’s appropriate for a kid’s show.’”

“I want my shows to be popular. I want everyone to like [the shows], the more people who liked the shows, the happier I am. So, if there’s anything that needs to be cut because it’s upsetting somebody, let’s cut it.”

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Drake Bell’s bombshell revelation

In the third episode of Quiet on Set, Drake Bell, who as a minor starred in each Drake & Josh and The Amanda Show, mentioned he was the juvenile sufferer within the sexual abuse case of Brian Peck, a former Nickelodeon dialogue coach.

Bell, now 37, mentioned he was the unnamed teenager within the trial that noticed Peck convicted of kid molestation in 2004. The sexual abuse allegedly occurred when Bell was 15 years previous, although his identification had by no means been publicly revealed previous to the docuseries.

Peck was arrested on 11 costs of kid sexual abuse, together with employment of a minor for pornography. He served 16 months in jail and was made to register as a intercourse offender.

In the docuseries, Bell had a troublesome time recounting the abuses he skilled, and as an alternative mentioned to the digital camera: “Why don’t you think of the worst thing someone can do to someone that is sexual assault and that’ll answer your question.”

In his interview, Schneider mentioned he didn’t rent Peck at Nickelodeon.

Schneider mentioned he was “devastated” when a then-teenage Bell informed him in regards to the abuse he’d skilled by the hands of Peck, who was his coach.

“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,” Schneider mentioned. “And I told him, ‘I’m here for you.’”

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Schneider additionally grew to become emotional when he recounted an occasion the place Bell’s mom requested him to assist write a speech that will be learn to the courtroom throughout Peck’s trial.

“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,’” Schneider recalled.

Schneider known as Peck’s abuse and subsequent prison trial “the darkest part of my career.”

Alongside Bell’s admission of abuse, one of the crucial stunning particulars to come back from the documentary was the reveal of a number of celebrities’ names, every of whom wrote among the 41 letters submitted to the decide in assist of Peck. At the time of his trial, James Marsden, Ron Melendez, Alan Thicke, Rider Strong, Will Friedle and Taran Killam all wrote optimistic character letters.

Friedle and Strong, who starred within the well-liked ’90s TV present Boy Meets World, on their podcast just lately revealed they remorse voicing assist for Peck.

Schneider mentioned “Drake was devastated” by the assist for Peck from so many leisure trade professionals.

Inappropriate behaviour on-set

Schneider has been accused of appearing inappropriately towards quite a few women and girls who labored on his Nickelodeon TV reveals.

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Though Schneider has not been accused of any sexual misconduct, he requested some crew members on his units to offer him physique massages, an allegation lined in Quiet on Set. Former Amanda Show author Jenny Kilgen mentioned Schneider informed her he would put the sketches she penned into the present in alternate for a therapeutic massage.

Schneider acknowledged the behaviour in his interview and mentioned, “It was wrong.”

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

Schneider apologized to anybody who could have witnessed the massages on set and “may have felt uncomfortable.”

His apologies didn’t finish there. Schneider additionally mentioned sorry for any pranks and inappropriate jokes he informed in his writers rooms. Among the allegations, some writers who labored previously underneath Schneider mentioned they had been compelled to behave out sexually suggestive scenes within the writers room.

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

“There are definitely things that I would do differently,” Schneider mirrored. “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.”

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Schneider informed BooG!E he retrospectively wished he would have employed licensed therapists to handle youngster actors all through filming processes.

Regardless, Schneider cited situations the place he felt he did proper by the younger actors in his reveals. He recalled an occasion when Amanda Bynes, then 16 or 17 years previous, allegedly phoned him after an argument along with her dad and mom.

“It was very late. Well after midnight, or 1 or 2 in the morning, the phone rang,” he recalled. “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 mentioned he intervened and had somebody decide up Bynes, who was dropped at police.

Bynes has not commented publicly about Schneider’s claims.

Jennette McCurdy and ‘The Creator’

Actor Jennette McCurdy, who performed Sam Puckett on iCarly and Sam & Cat, recounted quite a few unfavorable experiences whereas working at Nickelodeon in her memoir, I’m Glad My Mother’s Dead. 

In the guide, McCurdy, 31, discusses a number of interactions with a Nickelodeon worker known as solely “The Creator,” believed to be Schneider.

She wrote that The Creator was “mean-spirited, controlling, and terrifying” and was recognized to make “grown men and women cry with his insults and degradation.”

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Among her quite a few allegations of office mistreatment, McCurdy claimed she was provided a US$300,000 (virtually C$405,000) “thank-you gift” from Nickelodeon after Sam & Cat ended. McCurdy didn’t take the cash as a result of it was provided on the situation that she by no means publicly focus on her experiences at Nickelodeon, particularly to do with The Creator.

Some former youngster stars aren’t shopping for it

Alexa Nikolas, who performed Nicole Bristow on the Schneider’s hit present Zoey 101, throughout a livestream to her social media accounts Tuesday, mentioned Schneider’s apologies are lengthy overdue.

“I don’t feel bad for you, Dan Schneider, because it’s sad that it took you this long to apologize to us,” she mentioned whereas standing outdoors Nickelodeon’s places of work in Burbank, Calif.

“Not only did you bully me, you actually put me in a situation where creeps are going to look at me in a certain way as a child,” she continued. “You’re embarrassed? That’s a joke.”

She deemed Schneider “the champion of creeps.”

Nikolas known as for an finish to non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) for youngsters working in leisure, in addition to the inclusion of third-party kids’s advocates on-set.

‘Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV’ is now streaming on Discovery Plus and Amazon Prime Video.

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If you or somebody you already know is experiencing abuse or is concerned in an abusive scenario, please go to the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for assist. They are additionally reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.

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