Dan Schneider’s controversies are being discussed again following Jennette McCurdy’s memoir
Schneider was behind some of the biggest shows on Nickelodeon including iCarly and Victorious
Dan Schneider was once one of the most popular producers in children’s television, especially when it came to some of the biggest Nickelodeon shows. From the late 1990s through to the 2000s, Schneider produced the likes of iCarly, Drake & Josh and Victorious. In 2018, Schneider parted ways with Nickelodeon, following allegations of verbal abuse and questionable treatment of young stars on the shows he worked on.
The conversation of Dan Schneider and his time on Nickelodeon has been revived following the publication of Jennette McCurdy’s memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died. In the memoir, Jennette writes about someone who she calls “The Creator” and describes them as “mean-spirited, controlling and terrifying” and would make “grown men and women cry with his insults and degradation”. Although not naming the person, McCurdy told the Washington Post people accepted this person’s behaviour “because everyone was scared of losing their job”. Jennette alleges the “Creator” crossed the line by initiating unsolicited massages and trying to get her to drink alcohol when she was 18.
The allegations made about “The Creator” resonate with the allegations previously made against Schneider which saw him leave Nickelodeon. It was said Schneider had a temper, he would angrily email and text child actors and complaints were made against him for “abusive behaviour”. But Schneider has always denied these allegations and insisted he “never interacted with actors in any way, texting or otherwise”. The investigation done by Nickelodeon parent ViacomCBS found no evidence of sexual misconduct by Schneider, but it did indicate Schneider could be verbally abusive toward co-workers. Quite why McCurdy would not name Schneider in her book if “The Creator” was supposed to be him is not clear, nor why she won’t clear the matter up now.
For Schneider’s part, The Tab contacted his team and has not received a comment on the allegations.
Around the time of Schneider’s exit from Nickelodeon, reports of controversial behaviour began to spread. It was reported the producer split from the TV network following allegations of Schneider’s temper, production delays and “complaints of abusive behaviour” made against him by his staff. Deadline reported that for years Schneider had been under a “cloud of suspicion” for his treatment of younger stars in his shows. One thing which made people question Schneider was his photos of the toes of his young female stars posted to Twitter along with a common theme of feet skits in his shows, which started up a foot fetish rumour about the producer. Following the release of the iCarly reboot on Paramount, Dan Schneider sat down with The New York Times. They interviewed him about the allegations made against him in 2018. Dan responded to the claims and said: “The comedy was totally innocent” and insisted he never attempted to sexualise young stars.
Alongside the interview with Schneider, The New York Times spoke to Arthur Gradstein, a writer and producer who worked with Schneider on iCarly, Drake & Josh and Victorious. In the interview, Gradstein recalled the stresses of their partnership. He said: “Schneider could be generous and validating, and it was exciting to be around his talent and passion for creating entertainment. But he was also unreasonably demanding, controlling, belittling and vindictive with a willful disregard for boundaries or workplace appropriateness.” Other sources who also spoke to the New York Times corroborated the reports of Schneider’s abuse. Speaking about the allegations in the workplace, Dan said if he was found to be difficult by those he worked with, it was because he has “high standards”. He said: “I’m very willing to defend creative things I believe in”.
An investigation conducted by ViacomCBS found Schneider had allegedly yelled, threw tantrums and sent angry emails and texts to child actors outside of working hours. He addressed the accusations and said he “never interacted with actors in any way, texting or otherwise, that should make anyone uncomfortable.” He continued to say: “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.” The producer admitted he may have been harsh at times but now says he is “better and more gentle at communicating”.