Dan Schneider Made a 19-Minute-Long Apology Video

Nickelodeon’s 27th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards - Show
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In the viral four-part docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, which aired on Max earlier this week, former Nickelodeon child stars and staffers alleged that the network’s ex-showrunner Dan Schneider fostered a culture of toxicity and abuse on set in the ’90s and 2000s. Schneider, who once helmed hit shows like Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, and The Amanda Show, did not appear in interviews for Quiet on Set. After the series aired, Schneider’s spokesperson issued a long statement in which Schneider denied underpaying female staffers and apologized for a number of other inappropriate behaviors. He also defended his behavior by saying everything that happened on his shows was approved by the network and “carefully scrutinized by dozens of involved adults.”

On Tuesday, the showrunner followed this up with a 19-minute-long YouTube video running through the laundry list of allegations. “Watching over the past two nights was very difficult: me facing my past behaviors, some of which are embarrassing and that I regret,” Schneider said. “I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology.”

Over the course of the video, which takes the form of an interview with former iCarly actor BooG!e, Schneider issued a litany of blanket apologies, starting off with female staffers who say he asked them for massages on-set. “It was wrong that I put anybody in that position,” said Schneider, who also apologized for his inappropriate behavior in the writers’ room, seemingly referring to The Amanda Show writer Jenny Kilgen’s claim that he once asked her if she did phone sex and pushed fellow writer Christy Stratton to act out being sodomized as a joke. “I was an inexperienced producer, I was immature, it wouldn’t happen today. I’m just really sorry it happened,” Schneider said. But he denied the women’s claims that he made them split one staff-writer salary, saying he had nothing to do with paying writers.

Schneider also addressed wider allegations that he fostered a toxic environment on set, apologizing to staffers who claimed he overworked them and yelled at them and to All That cast members who compared the show’s “On-Air Dare” segments to torture. “Some of the on-air dares went too far … not all of them, not most of them, but some did,” said Schneider. The docuseries also zeroed in on the presence of multiple child predators on Schneider’s sets, most notably All That and The Amanda Show dialogue coach Brian Peck, who was convicted on two felony counts of child sex abuse against a minor actor, identified in the docuseries as Drake Bell, in 2004. Schneider denied hiring Peck, and called the ordeal with Bell “the darkest part of his career.”

Former cast and staff also alleged that Schneider frequently used thinly veiled sexual innuendos in several of his shows, once naming a young female character after slang for the perineum and doing scenes suggestive of come shots. For all his apologies, however, he still denied that any of the jokes highlighted in Quiet on Set — including clips where a teenage actress asks to be slapped in the face with a sausage on the 2010 show Victorious — were actually inappropriate.

“Now we have some adults looking back at them 20 years later through their lens, and they’re saying it’s inappropriate for a kids show,” he said. “Every one of those jokes were written for a kid audience because kids thought they were funny.”

Dan Schneider Made a 19-Minute-Long Apology Video