the industry

Dan Schneider Misconduct Complaints at Nickelodeon Date Back to 2000

Dan Schneider. Photo: Brian To/FilmMagic

Allegations of Dan Schneider’s misconduct on his Nickelodeon sets goes much deeper in new details. Business Insider published an investigation into the creator of Zoey 101, iCarly, Drake & Josh, The Amanda Show, and more Nickelodeon properties on August 30, detailing allegations of inappropriate comments to minors, requests for massages, and sexism. Among other instances, Insider cited a previously unreported complaint from 2000 regarding The Amanda Show, in which writer Jenny Kilgen accused Storybook Productions of gender discrimination and fostering a toxic work environment. Kilgen reportedly claimed Schneider (who was not the direct subject of the complaint) had repeatedly asked her for massages. Other crew members corroborated Schneider’s requests for massages, including two longtime costumers who said another costumer often gave him massages under his shirt. A source described as “a person close to Schneider” told Insider he “agrees it was not appropriate, even though it only happened in public settings.”

Other allegations in the story range from Schneider’s pushing for underage stars to wear revealing costumes to his not thinking women were funny. On the latter point, Insider’s source for Schneider cited his appreciation of Tina Fey, Lucille Ball, and … Ariana Grande. Writers also told Insider they thought innuendos in Schneider’s shows were often too risqué. Former Zoey 101 star Alexa Nikolas — who recently staged a protest of Nickelodeon — said she was uncomfortable with a scene involving green goo being squirted on star Jamie Lynn Spears’s face when she was 13; she remembered a male co-star saying, “It’s like a come shot.” The Schneider source disputed the reception of those scenes. The Insider investigation echoes many of the details in Jennette McCurdy’s new memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, in which she refers to misconduct by an unnamed “Creator” of iCarly, on which she co-starred.

The allegations against Schneider come on top of a previously reported 2018 investigation, which spurred his departure from Nickelodeon and concluded that he had been verbally abusive. A 2013 investigation also reportedly claimed he had contributed to on-set “toxicity.” Schneider disputed the 2018 investigation to the New York Times in 2021, saying he had “high standards.” “I couldn’t, and I wouldn’t have the long-term friendships and continued loyalty from so many reputable people if I’d mistreated my actors of any age, especially minors,” he said. He claimed his shows were “totally innocent” despite online allegations of inappropriate innuendos. In the 2021 Times story, Schneider claimed he had sold a new pilot; the show has yet to air or to be reported on further.

Dan Schneider’s Misconduct Complaints Date Back to 2000