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Ex-Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider apologizes after ‘Quiet on the Set’ docuseries

Ex-Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider apologizes after ‘Quiet on the Set’ docuseries

Former Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider apologized for his behavior and the on-set atmosphere of the preteen- and teen-focused shows he produced in the 2000s and 2010s.

Schneider, who parted ways with the network in 2018, spoke out in response to the Investigation Discovery series “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV,” which aired Sunday and Monday.

During a video conversation with actor Bobbie K. Bowman, also known as BooG!e, Schneider said viewing the docuseries was “difficult” and “embarrassing.”

“Facing my past behaviors — some of which are embarrassing and that I regret — and I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology,” Schneider said.

He spoke to Bowman, who played T-Bo on “iCarly,” in a video uploaded to Schneider’s YouTube channel Tuesday.

Schneider produced some of Nickelodeon’s most successful shows, including “All That,” “The Amanda Show,” “Drake and Josh” and “iCarly.”

Dan Schneider on Sept. 10, 2015 in New York.Eric Vitale / Getty Images file

“Quiet on Set” featured several actors and former child stars who alleged abuse, inappropriate behavior and a toxic work environment while appearing on shows produced by Schneider.

“It was wrong that I ever put anybody in that position,” Schneider said when he was asked about massages that happened at work. “I apologize to anybody that I ever put in that situation.”

“There were lots of people there who witnessed it who also may have felt uncomfortable. So I owe them an apology, as well.”

Schneider said any questionable content or jokes in the shows should be cut from vaulted and rerun episodes.

“Every one of those jokes was written for a kid audience because kids thought they were funny,” Schneider said. “Now we have some adults looking back at them 20 years later through their lens. I have no problem with that. Let’s cut those jokes out of the show.”

He also reiterated a statement he released earlier that said multiple network executives approved the content and look of his shows and that dozens of adults were on set and never raised concerns.

He also addressed an investigation that happened before he left the network and said it found no wrongdoing.

“All that was found is that he was a challenging, tough and demanding person to work for and with, nothing else,” a spokesperson for Schneider has said.

In “Quiet on Set,” Drake Bell, who starred in the show “Drake and Josh,” comes forward with accusations against dialogue coach Brian Peck. 

Peck — a close collaborator of Schneider’s on “All That” and “The Amanda Show,” the latter of which Bell appeared on regularly — was arrested in 2003 and charged with “lewd acts with a child,” according to a news release from the Los Angeles Police Department. The release said Peck had molested an unidentified minor he had worked with over a period of six months. 

After he pleaded no contest, Peck was convicted of lewd or lascivious acts with a 14- or 15-year-old child and oral copulation with a minor under 16, according to a case summary from Los Angeles County Superior Court. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

A representative for Peck did not respond to a request for comment. 

Schneider got emotional about the case and said he did not hire Peck.

He said he has tried to be there for actors, helping Bell’s mother when Bell was dealing with legal issues.

Bell was sentenced to two years of probation for child endangerment after he was accused of “grooming” a female victim when she was 12. He pleaded guilty to felony attempted child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge for disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

Schneider said television shows that feature child actors should have therapists on set who have power to determine whether a juvenile really wants to be working.

“If a kid doesn’t want to be on a TV show, they can opt out,” he said.

Nickelodeon did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Schneider’s apology video. A network spokesperson, responding to the docuseries, previously said the following:

“Though we cannot corroborate or negate allegations of behaviors from productions decades ago, Nickelodeon as a matter of policy investigates all formal complaints as part of our commitment to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct. Our highest priorities are the well-being and best interests not just of our employees, casts and crew, but of all children, and we have adopted numerous safeguards over the years to help ensure we are living up to our own high standards and the expectations of our audience.”

Alexa Nikolas, who played Nicole Bristow on the Schneider-created “Zoey 101” on Nickelodeon, in a livestream on her YouTube channel Tuesday called for more safeguards for young actors, including having third-party advocates and ending nondisclosure agreements for children.

“I don’t feel bad for you, Dan Schneider, because it’s sad that it took you this long to apologize to us,” she said outside Nickelodeon’s Burbank, California, offices Tuesday.

“Not only did you bully me, you actually put me in a situation where creeps are going to look at me in a certain way as a child,” she said. “You’re embarrassed? That’s a joke.”

Schneider said in the YouTube video that he was inexperienced when he ran some of a cable network’s most valuable franchises and acknowledged that sometimes, he was “straight-up rude.”

“I could be cocky and definitely overambitious,” he said.

“If I could go back I would get it done in different ways,” Schneider said. “I would be nicer.”

Dennis Romero

Dennis Romero is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital. 

Daysia Tolentino

Daysia Tolentino is a culture and trends reporter for NBC News.

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