Dan Schneider addresses ‘regretful’ Nickelodeon behaviour: ‘I owe some pretty strong apologies’

Former Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider has addressed claims about his behaviour while working for the kids channel.

Schneider, who parted ways with the channel in 2018, posted an interview on his YouTube channel, where he discussed the allegations featured in a new documentary series called Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.

The Investigation Discovery documentary saw former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell come forward with his alleged sexual abuse, which he says he suffered aged 15.

In the series, Bell alleged that he was a victim of abuse at the hands of Brian Peck, who worked as a dialogue coach on Nickelodeon’s All That and The Amanda Show.

Now, Schneider, who created shows including Drake & Josh, iCarly and Zoey 101, has spoken out on the series, saying that watching the documentary was “very difficult” as he faced his “past behaviours – some of which are embarrassing and that I regret”.

As featured in the documentary, Schneider is accused of tolerating toxic workplace conditions as well as the alleged humiliation of cast and crew working on his shows.

“I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology,” he told iCarly’s T-Bo actor BooG!E in the 19-minute long video clip, adding: “I hate that anybody worked for me and didn’t have a good time.”

Schneider said he “would let the pressure of doing 40 episodes or more a year... get to me, which a good boss should never ever do”.

Dan Schneider said it was wrong’ to ask for massages on sets of Nickelodeon shows (YouTube)
Dan Schneider said it was wrong’ to ask for massages on sets of Nickelodeon shows (YouTube)

He continued: “I would snap at people sometimes. I would be snarky when I could have given them a nicer answer. I would not give people the time they needed. I would be in too big a hurry to get onto the next thing I had to do.

“Watching that [documentary], there were so many times I wanted to pick up the phone and call some of those people and say ‘I’m so sorry’ and ‘let’s talk about it’,” Schneider said, adding that “seeing the hurt in some people’s eyes... made me feel awful and regretful and sorry”.

Schneider claimed in the video that he never hired Peck, who was convicted of sexually assaulting Bell in 2004. This is the first time Bell’s name has been revealed as the victim.

“When Drake and I talked and he told me about what happened, I was more devastated by that than anything that ever happened to me in my career thus far,” Schneider said, adding that he told Bell: “I’m here for you.”

Dan Schneider photographed in 2011 (Getty Images)
Dan Schneider photographed in 2011 (Getty Images)

Directly addressing claims he asked people to give him massages on set, Schneider said: “It was wrong. It was wrong that I ever put anyone in that position. It was wrong to do. I’d never do it today. I’m embarrassed that I did it then. I apologise to anybody that I ever put in that situation.”

The Independent has contacted Nickelodeon for comment.

Schneider began his career as an actor, best known for playing Dennis Blunden in Head of the Class. From there, Schneider created the sketch-comedy show All That for Nickelodeon, going on to electively produce Kenan & Kel.

He is credited with launching the careers of stars including Ariana Grande, Amanda Bynes and Kenan Thompson.