As possibly the most successful Nickelodeon producer of all time, Dan Schneider is responsible for some of the best-loved shows of the past 20 years. From The Amanda Show to iCarly and Victorious, he launched the careers of numerous A-list stars, such as Ariana Grande and Miranda Cosgrove. But he has also allegedly been responsible for something else, something pernicious and sordid that many have sought to bury.
It all started when fans began to theorize that a certain, unnamed Nickelodeon producer may have acted improperly with a number of the network’s stars. Since then, many other shocking allegations have come out regarding Schneider.
Schneider faced some major backlash when he was accused of abuse during his reign at Nickelodeon. While Schneider denies the allegations made against him to this very day, it’s evident there may have been foul play when Nickelodeon finally parted ways with Schneider, who created some of their greatest shows, in 2018. Although the rumors claimed he created a toxic and uncomfortable environment for many of Nickelodeon’s stars, Dan Schneider was given a settlement to the tune of $7 million. Today, the producer claims he is ready to return to television and branch out his comedy to newer audiences.
Janette McCurdy and Miranda Cosgrove
In 2014, Schneider was honored at the Teen Choice Awards for his contribution to Nickelodeon with the Lifetime Achievement Award. But neither Miranda Cosgrove nor her iCarly co-star Jennette McCurdy attended the ceremony, which was viewed as a protest against the producer.
McCurdy later addressed her absence on Twitter, cryptically writing, “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.”
McCurdy Speaks Out
In 2013, Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy posted a frankly sinister and disturbingly cryptic Vine. “Hey Dan Schneider, I know you’re watching my Vine. Do you like my vine?” she said whilst wearing torn clothing, with lipstick smeared across her face and her hair a mess, before uttering the chilling final line, “Look what you’ve done to me.”
Many viewed the video as a cry for help and an allusion to abuse. Since many actresses fear that speaking out against abuse will damage their careers, it was generally believed that McCurdy opted for a cryptic outing of Schneider as an alleged abuser.
Jamie Lynn Spears
This one is pure speculation, but some fans have theorized that Jamie Lynn Spears, star of Schneider’s show Zoey 101, may have been targeted by the producer.
During the filming of the series, Spears, then aged just 16, became pregnant. As The Outline has explained, there is an “unsubstantiated rumor that Schneider is the father of former Zoey 101 star Jamie Lynn Spears’s child, who was born in 2007.” Of course, this is nothing more than a rumor and Schneider has maintained his innocence throughout all allegations of misconduct.
Like many former child stars, Amanda Bynes had a public breakdown, which began around 2012. To this day, she is hounded by the paparazzi. In 2014, she accused her father of abuse on Twitter, a claim that she later retracted. However, the claims have led many to speculate that perhaps she wasn’t referring to her biological father, but rather, a father figure, i.e. Dan Schneider.
Furthermore, fans have theorized that Bynes may have been alluding to abuse at the hands of Schneider in mysterious social media posts.
The Claims Are Backed by BTS Footage
While Schneider has always denied any wrongdoing, there were many instances in which underage actresses were put in inappropriate scenarios. For instance, a behind-the-scenes clip from The Amanda Show features the underage star Amanda Bynes in a hot tub with Schneider.
What’s more, other BTS footage shows Schneider directing Amanda to perform what looks like an inappropriate act on a science project, something that the tween actress wouldn’t have understood to be inappropriate.
On Nov. 2, 2019, Netflix added 13 Nickelodeon titles to its catalog. The TV show “Victorious,” released in 2010, has arguably garnered the most attention from high school students, with many teenagers binge-watching the series and proclaiming their love for the “iconic” show they watched as young children.
Although I loved the show as a child, the nostalgia was not enough to shield me from my unfortunate knowledge of the show’s creator and many of the problematic decisions associated with his various Nickelodeon programs.
The “Washington Post” reports that, in addition to his alleged “well-documented temper issues for years,” Schneider has also been ridiculed for his apparent fixation with young female stars’ feet. Many social media users have also noted Schneider’s sexualization of female stars in his shows.
For example, in a compilation video titled “Ariana Grande being sexualized on ‘Victorious’ for 2 minutes straight,” (above) Grande’s character, Cat, is shown attempting to fit her toe in her mouth, gagging after inserting her finger in her mouth and making seemingly provocative sounds and facial expressions as she attempts to “squeeze the juice” out of a potato.
Feet As A Symbol Of Abuse
Much of the scandal was based around Dan Schneider’s bizarre fixation. It has been said that the producer harbored an extreme foot thing; while there is nothing inherently wrong with personal kinks, imposing them on kids is not okay. Schneider would constantly add foot emblems to his TV shows, from zooming in on young actresses’ feet to actually making the Nickelodeon logo a big orange foot.
Worst of all, his show Sam & Cat Tweeted a request for fans to write on their feet and post the photos on Twitter: “…we’ll RT and follow until our fingers get sore!” proclaimed the post, which doesn’t sound even remotely like a crude euphemism… Since Schneider has amassed a $40 million net worth, this appears to be a case of a man hiding in plain sight, protected by money and power.
9 Staff Complained About His Temper
In the midst of the scandal, numerous Nickelodeon staff members accused Schneider of verbally abusive behavior on set. It has been alleged that he has a bad temper; namely, when he was told that his show Game Shakers would not be renewed for a fourth season, he reacted with fury.
Nickelodeon Parted Ways With Him, But He Was Rewarded
After all these claims, Nickelodeon decided to part ways with Schneider in 2018, though the network has never explicitly stated why they made this decision, which was seen as rather shady on their part. Nickelodeon handsomely rewarded the producer for his dismissal, giving him $7 million.
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