Kenan Thompson speaks out on Dan Schneider allegations: ‘Investigate more’

Nickelodeon star Kenan Thompson has spoken out about the recent accusations made against producer Dan Schneider.

Released earlier this month in the US, the documentary Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV sees former Drake and Josh star Drake Bell come forward with allegations of sexual abuse, which he says he suffered aged 15.

In it, Bell – who appeared on the network in several shows in the Noughties – 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.

The programme also included allegations against former Nickelodeon executive producer Dan Schneider, who left the network in 2018 following a ViacomCBS investigation that deemed he committed verbal abuse on set, but found no evidence of sexual misconduct.

He has since spoken out about the claims made in the documentary, acknowledging that he found it “very difficult” to watch as he faced his “past behaviours – some of which are embarrassing and that I regret”.

In light of the accusations, Thompson, who starred in All That and Kenan & Kel during the Nineties, opened up about his own experience working for the network.

The actor, 45, said more needed to be done to ensure children’s safety within the industry. “Investigate more,” Thompson urged during an appearance on the Tamron Hall Show on Wednesday (27 March).

“It’s supposed to be a safe place for kids. And to hear all about that is just like, ‘How dare you?’” he continued.

Thompson said the allegations were ‘tough’ to hear (ABC News Tamron Hall Show/Getty Images)
Thompson said the allegations were ‘tough’ to hear (ABC News Tamron Hall Show/Getty Images)

Thompson said that the allegations emerging from Bell and other Nickelodeon stars were “tough” to hear due to his own personal experiences on the show.

“It’s tough for me because I can’t really speak on things that I never witnessed, you know what I’m saying? Because all these things happened after I left, basically,” he said.

Drake & Josh creator, Schneider, is credited as a co-executive producer on every episode of Kenan & Kel’s first two seasons with credits on 11 episodes.

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 also wrote and produced multiple episodes of All That and is credited as a screenwriter and co-producer on Good Burger, the 1997 movie spinoff.

Speaking about his time working with Schneider, Thompson said: “Dan wasn’t really on Kenan & Kel like that.”

He explained: “I mean, he got a ‘created by’ credit, but it was a different showrunner, so our worlds wasn’t really overly overlapping like that outside of All That, necessarily. And then all of that negativity kind of started happening outside of our tenure there, you know what I mean? So I wasn’t really aware of a lot of it.”

The Saturday Night Live cast member expressed sympathy and support for the victims coming forward.

“My heart goes out to anybody that’s been victimised, or their families,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing that the [documentary] is out and it’s putting things on display, stories that need to be told for accountability’s sake.”

He added the unfolding of allegations was “tough to watch because I have fond memories of that place and I have fond memories of my costars and stuff like that”.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.