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‘Quiet On Set’: Dan Schneider, Others React To Investigation Discovery Docuseries

TV producer Dan Schneider has issued a new response to an Investigation Discovery docuseries that uncovers the toxic and dangerous culture on the sets of his Nickelodeon children’s shows in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The first two installments that dropped Sunday were meant to reveal “an insidious environment rife with allegations of abuse, sexism, racism, and inappropriate dynamics with its underage stars and crew,” according to ID.

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The next two episodes air tonight.

“Dan expected and asked a lot from his teams,” according to a statement obtained by Deadline. “They worked long hours and consistently made successful shows. In the challenges of production, Dan could get frustrated at times, and he understands why some employees found that intimidating or stressful. In a career spanning 30+ years, Dan worked with thousands of people, many of whom still tell him how much they enjoyed and appreciated working on his shows. But he also knows some people did not have a positive experience, and he is truly sorry for that.”

“Remember, all stories, dialogue, costumes, and makeup were fully approved by network executives on two coasts, the statement continued. “A standards and practices group read and ultimately approved every script, and programming executives reviewed and approved all episodes. In addition, every day on every set, there were always parents and caregivers and their friends watching filming and rehearsals. Had there been any scenes or outfits that were inappropriate in any way, they would have been flagged and blocked by this multilayered scrutiny.”

Former President of Content and Production at Nickelodeon Russell Hicks also released this statement via Schneider’s spokesperson: “Dan Schneider is one of the most prolific producers of hit television in the kids and family entertainment business. Dan’s shows transcend children’s television and are staples on many streaming platforms today, enjoyed by both kids and their parents. Dan cared about the kids on his shows even when sometimes their own families unfortunately did not. What people seem to be forgetting is the fact that the network has a talent management department that is keeping tabs on everything that is happening and going to every event these kids go to.”

“There is a standards and practices group that reads every script and programming executives looking at every episode,” Hicks continued. “Add to that every day on every set, were the parents and caregivers and their friends watching every single frame of footage and listening to every joke. Every single thing that Dan ever did on any of his shows was carefully scrutinized and approved by executives at Nickelodeon.”

In the docuseries, writers Jenny Kilgen and Christy Stratton expose allegations of a toxic and sexist environment in The Amanda Show writer’s room. Alexa Nikolas offers insight into being a part of Zoey 101. The docuseries also features additional cast and crew from iCarlySam & CatVictorious, and Marc Summers from the popular game show Double Dare. The series also includes emotional testimony from parents of cast members who attempted to advocate for their children on these sets.

The project has already generated strong reactions on X, starting with this one from his former assistant Amy Berg (whose Nickelodeon predated any allegations against him).

The docuseries features interviews, woven with archival footage (some of which has never been broadcast) and scenes from the shows and social media commentary.

Nickelodeon parted ways with Schneider in 2018 after multiple complaints of abusive behavior from members of his staff.

In a 2021 interview with The New York Times, Schneider said if he was found to be difficult by some people, it was because he has “high standards. I’m very willing to defend creative things that I believe in.”

Schneider also told the Times he never acted inappropriately with people with whom he worked. “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.

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