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Dan Schneider Downplays Allegations With Defensive Apology

YouTube/screengrab
YouTube/screengrab

Embattled Nickelodeon show creator Dan Schneider has finally addressed the allegations made against him for a toxic work environment and sexually inappropriate behavior during his work on the kids’ network in the 2000s.

In the video, Schneider was asked questions about the Quiet on Set docuseries by BooG!e, a former iCarly actor (and therefore his own former employee). Schneider began the video by saying, “Watching over the past two nights has been very difficult, me facing my past behaviors, some of which are embarrassing that I regret and I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology.”

BooG!e timidly asked Schneider some questions about the allegations, including about how the writers were treated on the show. “No writer should ever feel uncomfortable in any writers room ever, period, the end, no excuses,” Schneider said, while at the same time characterizing his behavior as “practical jokes.”

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“A lot of times there are inappropriate jokes made and inappropriate topics come up, but the fact that I participated in that, especially when I was leading the room—it embarrasses me and I shouldn’t have done it,” he added. “I said things that went too far. I was an inexperienced producer, I was immature. It wouldn’t happen today but I’m just really sorry it happened.”

And later, “I hate that anybody who worked for me didn’t have a good time.”

Schneider went on to say that he let the pressure of producing for the network get to him. “I would snap at people sometimes. I would be snarky when I could’ve given them a nicer answer,” he said.

As far as the former child actors in the documentary he worked with who expressed their grievances about working for him, Schneider said, “There were so many times I wanted to pick up a phone and call those people and say ‘I’m so sorry’ and ‘let’s talk about it.’ I apologize to everyone that I ever put in that situation.”

The children’s content Schneider produced was also called into question on Quiet On Set, which provides several example clips where the humor could be interpreted as sexual. “All these jokes that you’re speaking of that the show covered over the past two nights, every one of those jokes was written for a kid audience because kids thought they were funny—and only funny,” he insisted.

Schneider emphasized in the video that he wasn’t the only person in charge of what made it to air. “My bosses and their boss’ bosses, they’re approving this,” he said, shifting the blame. “There were many, many levels of scrutiny,” he added, indicating Nick executives. “If anybody had said anything, it would’ve been cut out.”

“We have some adults looking back at them 20 years later from their lens and they’re looking at them and they’re saying, ‘I don’t think that’s appropriate for a kids show,” Schneider said. “I have no problem with that. Let’s cut those jokes out of the show just like I would’ve done 20 years ago, or 25 years ago. If there’s anything in a show that needs to be cut because it’s upsetting somebody, let’s cut it.”

Female Writers Who Worked For Dan Schneider Recount Humiliation, Discrimination

Schneider also addressed Drake Bell’s sexual abuse accusations against dialect coach Brian Peck, as revealed in the docuseries. Schneider recalled lending support to Bell after the actor’s mother asked for his help at the time. “She said ‘Dan, I’m not good with words like you are,’ and she said ‘Would you help me with my speech for the judge?’ and I did,” he said, getting momentarily choked up.

“That was probably the darkest part of my career,” he added, and called out Disney Channel for hiring Peck to work on a kids show after he was released from prison as a registered sex offender. “I don’t understand that,” he said.

Schneider’s spokesperson also told The Beast, “All around [Schneider] is sorry for how he treated people. He was a jerk at times and if he could do it again he would have been a better boss and a better person.”

“The main thing I would change is how I treat people,” Schneider said towards the end of the YouTube video. “I definitely at times didn’t give people the best of me.”

How Dan Schneider Made Nickelodeon Into a ‘House of Horrors’

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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