Former Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider responds to “Quiet on Set” accusations

Ex-Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider is speaking out after accusations of inappropriate and abusive behavior were made against him in the new docuseries “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.”

Schneider, who was behind popular children’s shows such as “The Amanda Show,” “Victorious” and “Drake and Josh,” responded to some of the allegations in an interview on his YouTube page with “iCarly” actor BooG!e. He said it was “very difficult” to watch all four episodes of the Investigation Discovery special, which aired Sunday and Monday night.

“Facing my past behaviors, some of which are embarrassing and that I regret,” he said. “I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology.”

Even before the release of “Quiet on Set,” Schneider had faced criticism for including sexually suggestive jokes in his shows meant for children. Schneider said he’s in favor of cutting those jokes from his shows if viewers find them upsetting. 

“Every one of those jokes was written for a kid audience because kids thought they were funny — and only funny,” he said. “Now, we have some adults looking back at them 20 years later through their lens and they’re looking at them and they’re saying, ‘I don’t think that’s inappropriate for a kids’ show.’ And I have no problem with that… Let’s cut those jokes out of the show.” 

Schneider also refuted the idea that he had complete control over the content that eventually made it on his shows, saying “there were many, many levels of scrutiny,” pointing out executives from the company, crewmembers, parents and other adults on set could have raised objections. The documentary, however, portrayed Schneider as vindictive, volatile and hard to sway. 

Another accusation made against Schneider in “Quiet on Set” was that he mistreated two female writers by having them split a single staff writer’s salary. Schneider said he personally had “nothing to do” with paying writers or determining their salaries, but also noted it was “common practice” for first-time writers to split salaries. Schneider also admitted it was wrong for him to ask for massages on set — another allegation made during the docuseries. 

“I apologize to anyone I ever put in that situation,” he said.

Schneider also said he was not responsible for hiring Brian Peck, a dialogue coach who in 2004 was sentenced to 16 months in prison after pleading no contest to two counts of child sex abuse. The victim’s name was sealed at the time, but in “Quiet on Set,” actor Drake Bell revealed he was the one who had been sexually assaulted by Peck, who met Bell while working on “The Amanda Show.”

Schneider said that when Bell told him about the assault, he was “more devastated by that than anything that ever happened to me in my career, thus far.”

Former “Zoey 101” actor Alexa Nikolas, who has been a vocal critic of Schneider’s, slammed the former producer’s comments on Tuesday and said she would have preferred a private apology, instead of a public statement. 

“I don’t even feel any remorse from him,” she said in a YouTube live stream after Schneider’s interview. “He’s not even crying. I know everyone deals with their own emotions in their own way, but I don’t feel anything from you, Dan. I don’t feel a thing.” 

In response to alleged behaviors on past production sets, a Nickelodeon spokesperson told CBS News in a statement that it can’t “corroborate or negate allegations from productions decades ago.”

“Nickelodeon as a matter of policy investigates all formal complaints as part of our commitment to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct,” the spokesperson said. “Our highest priorities are the well-being and best interests not just of our employees, casts and crew, but of all children, and we have adopted numerous safeguards over the years to help ensure we are living up to our own high standards and the expectations of our audience.”

Both Nickelodeon and CBS News are owned by Paramount Global. (CBS)

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