The Creepy Nickelodeon Producer Who Exploited Child Actors and Their Feet.
Dan Schneider is a Nickelodeon producer responsible for shows like The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, iCarly, Victorious, Henry Danger, and so on. Nickelodeon severed ties with Schneider in 2018 when audiences began to question whether Dan had been sexually abusing and/or exploiting his young stars.
If you’ve watched Nickelodeon at all since the 90’s, you’ve probably seen one of Dan Schneider’s shows. Schneider and his production company, Schneider’s Bakery, are responsible for shows like Drake & Josh, iCarly, Zoey 101, The Amanda Show, All That, Victorious, Sam & Cat, Henry Danger, and the list goes on and on and on. After 30 years of working with them, Nickelodeon suddenly cut ties with Dan Schneider when allegations came out about Dan Schneider being inappropriate/abusive to the staff, and to the child actors.
Have you guys heard about this? I’m sure some of you have. You may have heard people talking about Nickelodeon and this man having a weird obsession, or even fetish with feet. Nickelodeon was known for having a kind of weird, gross kind of humor and it took years for people to notice that there were A LOT of scenes showing bare feet, like the bare feet of the actors as well as like prop feet being used for random comedy.
Well Dan Schneider has also been accused of abusing exploiting child actors on and off-set. For example, putting them in scenes that were somewhat sexual but in a way that wasn’t obvious to the actors. The allegations get bigger and bigger and they kind of cross over into gossip, so I did my best to deep dive this guy and separate fact from gossip. You’ll see.
So let’s jump in.
Dan Schneider started off as an actor and then in 1994 he began working as a writer for the Nickelodeon show All That. Over the years he would work in various roles on Nickelodeon and he would often appear in the shows in little side roles. From 1996-97 he worked on the show Kenan & Kel, followed by a show called Guys Like Us which didn’t do too well.
Meanwhile, he continued to work on All That.
In 1996, a young actress named Amanda Bynes was discovered by a “Nickelodeon producer” (its not known exactly which producer, but Dan Schneider was a producer who worked at this camp.)
In 1999, Dan created the spin-off show, The Amanda Show, starring Amanda Bynes. Let’s talk about that for a moment. Amanda Bynes joined the cast of All That in 1996 when she was 10. After about 3 years on the show, Dan decided to quit All That to create The Amanda Show.
Thinking back…. That’s kind of weird, isn’t it? He just created this whole show for this little girl, named it after her, put up a huge gigantic, lit-up sign on the stage that said “AMANDA”. In a way, he made her everyone’s boss at just 12 years old.
The Amanda Show was a lot like All That but it was centered around Amanda. In fact, it was originally supposed to be a sitcom-type show where Amanda would have an identical cousin (kind of like Liz and Maddie on Disney) but it didn’t go well. So then Dan was like “let’s do it just like All That, except centered around one person.”
It was basically a compilation of skits that all starred Amanda as different characters. This show also starred Drake Bell and Josh Peck. Dan also appeared in numerous small roles in this show. We’ll go more into detail with Amanda Bynes later, but if you watch scenes from the Amanda Show, you can see moments that might be seen as… a little strange. Let me explain. At the end of the Amanda Show, Amanda would do a scene in a hot tub. Like it seemed like it was supposed to be a parody of something where she would be playing herself, Amanda the host, and interviewing one of the characters who appeared in that episode. Her costars were often her own age, but sometimes it would be a grown ass adult, like Dan Schneider as whatever small role he played that day.
When I watched that as a kid, I never questioned it. But now it’s kind of weird. The “guest” she would interview would always be fully clothed, but Amanda would always be in a swimsuit.
Now when people got the DVD sets of The Amanda Show and watched the behind-the-scenes footage, there was a shot where Dan and Amanda were sitting by each other and Amanda’s like laying her head on his shoulder and he has his arm around her, and her eyes are pretty much shut but she’s smiling like a slap-happy smile… She looks like she’s on drugs, if I’m being honest in my opinion. Its pretty odd and the way his arm is around her, he hugs her but kind of like shrugging her to.. It looks like it’s to wake her up; i mean that’s just what it looks like to me, but I’ll upload it so you can see. And she like opens her eyes a bit and smiles but she doesn’t lift her head off of him at all. Still, it’s just a couple of odd moments so far that are maybe slightly apparent to the audience.
The show ended in 2002 with Amanda saying that she’s 15 now and didn’t want to do the things she was doing at 12. They continued to work together on the show What I Like About You on the WB, with Dan working as executive producer for just the first two seasons.
In 2004 Dan returned to Nickelodeon and created Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, and iCarly.
Let’s talk about Zoey 101 for a moment. Another rumor surrounding Dan is that he had a sexual relationship with the show’s star, Jamie Lynn Spears. In fact, it’s rumored that her daughter, Maddie, is actually Dan’s child. I admit, this is a big rumor and I haven’t found any credible evidence of that. But as you’ll find out later this isn’t the only time someone accuses Dan of impregnating one of his teenage stars so.. Idk about you but I have to wonder why people are so quick to jump to that conclusion.
Another actress from Zoey 101 named Alexa Nichols, said she didn’t want to go into detail, but Dan’s “not a nice guy”.
Then came Victorious which starred Victoria Justice and brought Arianna Grande to Nickelodeon. Arianna Grande has never addressed any allegations about Dan Schneider. However, there are some videos out there that kind of speak for themselves. If you go on youtube and you look at Dan’s channel (DanWarp), there are a lot of behind-the-scenes clips. Basically it was Dan walking around backstage with his camera and approaching the actors– well, the young female actresses usually. Sometimes he would sneak up on them and try to scare them (which is weird af) but other times he would just walk in with the camera while the kids were interacting, and when they notice Dan come in, suddenly their expressions would change. They would all get really serious. There’s one video where Arianna Grande just like runs away from Dan and runs into a bathroom. (Arianna was about 16 when she started working on Victorious.)
Remember when I said that the actors would perform in scenes that were kind of sexual in context, but that it wasn’t obvious to the kids?
“Have you ever tried to get your big toe in your mouth? Check this out!”
“I wonder if you could juice a potato”
“Is it possible for a teenage girl to drink water upside down? Mm, i’m thirsty!”
- Arianna in Victorious
There’s another video from the set of Victorious, where Ariana Grande and Liz Gillies are laying on the floor on the set, and they’re like giggling like they were just being silly. And then Dan walks up to them, and Dan’s the one holding the camera, so he walks up to them and he’s like “what are you doing? Why are you sitting on the set?” and his tone sounds angry, like they’re in trouble. And their faces look scared. All of a sudden, Liz turns her head away from the camera and barks like a dog. So Dan’s like “what was that?” and Liz was like “i don’t know”. Then she turns her head and does it again. Suddenly Dan turns the camera to some of the male costars who like suddenly walk up to him. Then you see Liz grab her purse and storm off.
I know that sounds confusing, but the rumor is that whenever Dan would get creepy around the girls, they would bark like a dog and then the boys would come over and distract him. I don’t know if that’s true, but) if you watch the videos, the girls clearly go from having fun, to being terrified and uncomfortable the moment Dan approaches them.
It also seems like a weird time for him to be filming. I mean they were laying on the ground, clearly not knowing anyone was filming, and he just decided to grab the camera and hit Record in time to go ask what they were doing?
In 2013 came Sam & Cat which was a spin-off of iCarly & Victorious, starring Arianna Grande and Jenette McCurdy.
Jeanette McCurdy, who played Sam in iCarly and Sam & Cat, has also been affected by Dan. Jeanette has opened up about being a child star, and has also hinted at Dan Schneider being responsible for… something.
You guys remember Vine? Where you’d make little video shorts? So Jeanette put up this really weird Vine once where she’s got heavy eyeliner and red lipstick on all smeared, and she’s like wearing torn clothing. She looks really weird.
Like… ok. What the fuck does that mean?
There was a lot of drama happening in 2014. For one, Jennette McCurdy believed that she wasn’t making as much money as Arianna Grande. And then, Jenette McCurdy had some risque photos leaked. And she was like 21 at this point but people were BIG MAD because they expected her to be an influence on their children forever i guess.
So then, Dan Schneider was given an award at the Kids Choice Awards, and Jenette McCurdy and Miranda Cosgrove didn’t go. People thought it was because of the whole thing with Jennette’s photos being released. But actually, it was a protest. Like to boycott Dan. Even though they were going to get awards too. They actually invited Ariana Grande to not go with them but she declined and went anyway.
This put some tension between Jenette and Ariana, and Jenette unfollowed Ariana on social media. Jeannette late came forward stating “'I was put in an uncomfortable, compromising, unfair situation (many of you have guessed what it is), and I had to look out for me.'"
She later tweeted “My previous tweet has nothing to do with pics leaked.. It has to do with how Nickelodeon treated me. That’s all. Thanks for the love.”
There’s this clip from iCarly where he’s just plain mean to her. She’s just like, standing there smiling and he’s like “Jenette what’s the matter with you?” and she’s like “what? I’m not doing anything?” while still smiling. And then he tells someone “take $100 off her check.”
Jenette McCurdy, btw, has a podcast and she’s talked a lot about working with an abusive producer. Not just that but she’s spoken out a lot about being a child actor under the pressure of a pushy stage parent, and I want to talk about that sometime too. But I just wanted to let you know that she has a book coming out this summer, it’s called “I’m Glad My Mom Died.”
Btw I mentioned Miranda Cosgrove– she’s never come forward and said anything about Dan Schneider either. All she did was not go to the Kids Choice Awards in 2014. But again, if you watch the videos on Dan’s youtube channel, she looks really uncomfortable. Not just her either. There’s a clip where he kissed Jerry Trainor on the cheek (he played Spencer on iCarly) and Jerry looks uncomfortable but he also doesn’t flinch, almost like he’s used to it.
People were starting to notice the feet thing by now.
Do you guys remember when the Nickelodeon logo was literally a giant orange foot?
Did you ever notice how often Nickelodeon shows depict the cast members doing something weird with their feet?
I mean if you explore it, there are SO. MANY. SCENES. In all of his shows, that involve feet. There’s one in the Amanda Show where Drake and Josh are both fighting over what Drake’s foot smells like. Theres a scene in Victorious where they pour ketchup all over Victoria’s bare feet.
In The Amanda Show, there’s a skit called “My Beautiful Big Toe” and, omg. It’s supposed to be like a commercial for a toy, and the toy is like a kit for you to decorate your big toe, it’s got like costume accessories and shit. So it’s Amanda Bynes and two other girls playing and dressing up their toes. And at the end, the dad walks in and he’s like “what are you kids doing?” and the girls grab him and sit him down, and they rip off his shoes, and they start decorating his big toe, and their faces are like RIGHT up in this grown man’s foot. And it’s just like oh my god, you know this is Dan’s dream come true.
Aside from the foot fetish and possible sexual offenses, Dan has also been accused of being a really angry dude and losing his temper. This might explain that video where Ariana and Liz look super scared of him.
Then, in March 2018, we were at the height of the #MeToo movement, and Schneider's time at Nickelodeon suddenly ended amid allegations of verbal abuse and questionable treatment of the young stars who appeared on his shows. Investigations were reportedly conducted by ViacomCBS, and the two parties eventually parted ways. Nickelodeon and Schneider issued a joint statement addressing his departure: "Following many conversations together about next directions and future opportunities, Nickelodeon and our long-time creative partner Dan Schneider/Schneider's Bakery have agreed to not extend the current deal. Since several Schneider's Bakery projects are wrapping up, both sides agreed that this is a natural time for Nickelodeon and Schneider's Bakery to pursue other opportunities and projects" (via Deadline).
They paid him $7m to walk away.
ViacomCBS, the parent company of Nickelodeon, investigated Schneider before the 2018 split. The Times article said that investigation saw Schneider’s coworkers praised his attention to detail and work ethic, but also indicated that many people he worked with viewed him as verbally abusive.
The Times story claimed that the investigation yielded no evidence of sexual misconduct by Schneider.
The investigation did find, however, allegations that he could be verbally abusive at times to coworkers, with tantrums and angry emails a part of the claims. Those interviewed for the investigation – whom the Times did not identify – also cited his requests for shoulder and neck massages, and his habit of texting child actors outside of work hours.
Btw Schneider isn’t the only one accused of abuse within Nickelodeon.
Brian Peck worked on several Nickelodeon shows in the late '90s and early 2000s, including making appearances in sketches and working as the dialogue coach on the set of "All That" and "The Amanda Show." He was also apparently a vital part of the "All That" boot camp with Dan Schneider. According to the Daily Mail, he was convicted of "a lewd act against a child and oral copulation of a person under 16" in 2004 and is now a registered sex offender.
The underage victim, who was reportedly a Nickelodeon star at the time, was only named as John Doe in the case "for fear of it having a negative affect on his career." Nickelodeon has never made an official statement in response to the controversy, and when the Daily Mail asked Peck directly if "he was sorry to the actor he abused" he responded, "I don't have any comment on it, I really don't."
Shockingly, Peck returned to work on a kids' show after serving 16 months in jail (not at Nickelodeon but his post-conviction credits do include "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" on the Disney channel).
I have a theory about who this young actor is, but I don’t have any proof. There is a twitter user named Obiscure Nickelodeon who claims to have a source who is related to Drake Bell, and supposedly this source admitted that Drake Bell was the teen that was abused by Brian Peck.
In 2021, actor Drake Bell was accused of predatory behavior towards a minor. A 19-year-old woman (who remained anonymous in the trial) accused him of "'grooming' her since she was 12" and "sending her graphic photos and engaging in sexual misconduct in two separate incidents" when she was still underage, NBC News reported. Bell pleaded guilty to "felony attempted child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles" but denied the more serious charges, including the victim's claim that "Bell had forced her to perform sexual acts" (via The New York Times). He received a sentence of two years probation, was ordered to "have no contact with the victim," and to complete "200 hours of community service."
In the trial, held over Zoom, Bell stated, in part, "Today I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong. I'm sorry that the victim was harmed in any way — that was obviously not my intention."
And speaking of Brian Peck, let me go off a little bit about this “Comedy camp”. So remember how I said that Amanda Bynes was discovered by a Nick producer at a comedy camp? Well Dan Schneider and Brian Peck were among the people in charge of scouting kids at these camps. There is a former actress who has spoken out about these camps, saying that she’s personally been to them and kind of describes how things go down.
So aside from the comedy workshops, there would also be a lot of recreational activities like a tennis court and a swimming pool, and the actors were often encouraged to hang out at the pool to get noticed. And they were also told that they had better chances of getting noticed if they wore shorts and tank tops, basically clothing that showed skin. According to this person, Hilary Duff was among one of the children that were discovered by the pool.
Supposedly during these activities, the parents would be attending a seminar of some sort, basically ensuring that the parents were always somewhere else while the kids were being discovered.
This actress also explains that when they were getting ready to go into the audition with the producers, there would be adults kind of walking around and scoping out kids and hand-choosing them to go into the audition, and it became apparent that these adults were specifically choosing the kids in tank tops and shorts and such. This particular actress, her mother noticed and started to get uncomfortable. And then, her agent told her that when they go into the audition, she would be instructed to take off her shoes and do her audition barefoot, and just kind of run around and talk about how much she loves being barefoot.
Oh and also, mom can’t come in.
So her mom noped the fuck out of there, and this actresses was then blacklisted and basically couldn’t get any work on tv after this.
An actress named Angelique Bates who was in All That has come forward about the crew standing by while she was abused physically and verbally, even when they could hear her screaming. She didn’t specify who her abuser was.
According to Angelique Bates, Child Protective Services did show up in 1996, but she said the adults on set "pressured" her to "stay silent."
Her mother claimed, "Nickelodeon and the Producers of 'All That' only contacted CPS after the Police became involved," adding that it was merely "an attempt to cover their own butts."
In a video for Inner Warrior, Bates explained that she "was pretty much released from [her] contract" at age 15 and claims she was then rejected from the entertainment industry due to her past. "When I was a child star dealing with aspects of the child abuse," she said, "It pretty much affected the workplace which later affected my adulthood because I was blackballed."
Nickelodeon has never come forward with an official response to the accusations.
There are a couple more things I saw on the Twitter of Obiscure Nick but be aware, they didn’t list any sources so take it with a grain of salt but they alleged that Jessica Alba was also abused at the hands of Dan Schneider. I couldn’t verify that like, at all. Jessica Alba was on the Nickelodeon show The Secret World of Alex Mack, but from what I can see, Dan didn’t work on that show. Jessica Alba has spoken out a lot about how girls in Hollywood are sexualized from a very young age.
Another one was the actress from Hey Arnold who did the voice of Helga Pataki, her name was Francesca Marie Smith. Again, I could not verify that anywhere.
SL04N with Alexa Nichols-
Revenge of the Cis
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