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Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider breaks his silence after being accused of ‘sexualizing’ child stars

Embattled television producer Dan Schneider has officially broken his silence after he was accused of “sexualizing” child stars on various Nickelodeon shows.

“Everything that happened on the shows Dan ran was carefully scrutinized by dozens of involved adults, and approved by the network,” a rep for Schneider, 58, told Variety on Monday.

“If there was an actual problem with the scenes that some people, now years later are ‘sexualizing,’ they would be taken down, but they are not, they are aired constantly all over the world today still, enjoyed by both kids and parents.”

Embattled television producer Dan Schneider officially broke his silence Monday after he was accused of “sexualizing” children on various Nickelodeon shows. Brian To/FilmMagic
Embattled television producer Dan Schneider officially broke his silence Monday after he was accused of “sexualizing” children on various Nickelodeon shows. Brian To/FilmMagic
Schneider’s statement comes after the producer — who worked on shows such as “The Amanda Show,” “All That” and “iCarly” — was accused of sexualizing child stars such as Ariana Grande and Jamie Lynn Spears in a new ID docuseries called “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.” Jesse Grant/WireImage
Schneider’s statement comes after the producer — who worked on shows such as “The Amanda Show,” “All That” and “iCarly” — was accused of sexualizing child stars such as Ariana Grande and Jamie Lynn Spears in a new ID docuseries called “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.” Jesse Grant/WireImage

“Remember, all stories, dialogue, costumes and makeup were fully approved by network executives on two coasts,” the statement continued. “A standards and practices group read and ultimately approved every script, and programming executives reviewed and approved all episodes.”

“In addition, every day on every set, there were always parents and caregivers and their friends watching filming and rehearsals,” the rep said, adding that had there been any issues, “they would have been flagged and blocked by this multilayered scrutiny.”

The statement concluded: “Unfortunately, some adults project their adult minds onto kids’ shows, drawing false conclusions about them.”

Schneider’s camp released a video on Tuesday, shot by former “iCarly” co-star Boog!e, in which Schneider apologized for some of his past behavior.

“Everything that happened on the shows Dan ran was carefully scrutinized by dozens of involved adults, and approved by the network,” a rep for Schneider, 58, told Variety. Frazer Harrison/KCA2014/Getty Images
“Everything that happened on the shows Dan ran was carefully scrutinized by dozens of involved adults, and approved by the network,” a rep for Schneider, 58, told Variety. Frazer Harrison/KCA2014/Getty Images
The studio parted ways with Schneider in March 2018. Eric Vitale/Getty Images
The studio parted ways with Schneider in March 2018. Eric Vitale/Getty Images

“Dan is apologizing for his behavior. He never ever should have asked for massages. Period. He crossed the line in the writer’s room with the jokes that he told and the pranks that he pulled,” a spokesperson for Schneider said in notes accompanying the video.

“They were inappropriate and never should have happened. Some of the On Air Dare sketches went too far. Dan wishes they hadn’t done those and he’s truly sorry to the young actors who weren’t comfortable. And all around he is sorry for how he treated people.

“He was a jerk at times and if he could do it again he would have been a better boss and a better person.”

In the video, Schneider also says he thinks some questionable scenes should be cut from future airings.

“Dan absolutely never intended for any of those jokes that are now being seen as sexualized content to be anything other than funny for kids,” his spokesperson said. Kids don’t look at things the same way as adults. The jokes were funny for kids, and only funny.

“But now, twenty to twenty five years later adults are looking at a handful of those jokes and looking at them through adult lenses and it’s making some people uncomfortable so Dan thinks those jokes should be cut from the reruns … If some of those jokes are now not seen the same way anymore then they absolutely should be cut and he fully supports that.

Schneider — who worked on shows such as “The Amanda Show,” “All That” and “iCarly” — was accused of sexualizing child stars such as Ariana Grande and Jamie Lynn Spears in a new ID docuseries called “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.”

The Investigation Discovery docuseries, which can be streamed on Max, aired Sunday and Monday.

In the series, Schneider was accused of promoting a toxic work environment and hiring three known sex offenders — production assistant Jason Handy, animator Ezel Channel and acting coach Brian Peck.

Schneider parted ways with Nickelodeon in March 2018.

The Investigation Discovery docuseries, which can be streamed on Max, aired Sunday with Part 2 set to air on Monday at 9 p.m. ET. ID
The Investigation Discovery docuseries, which can be streamed on Max, aired Sunday with Part 2 set to air on Monday at 9 p.m. ET. ID
Schneider reportedly hired three known sex offenders: production assistant Jason Handy (left), animator Ezel Channel (right) and acting coach Brian Peck (center). Investigation Discovery
Schneider reportedly hired three known sex offenders: production assistant Jason Handy (left), animator Ezel Channel (right) and acting coach Brian Peck (center). Investigation Discovery

Bryan Hearne, who starred in the series “All That” before being fired in 2003, called working for the studio a “house of horrors.”

Hearne, now 35, also alleged that the only reason he was let go from the show was due to the fact that his mother caused an uproar about what she saw as strange and inappropriate behavior on the set.

In her book, “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” former “iCarly” star Jennette McCurdy alleged that someone named “The Creator” would reportedly pressure her to drink alcohol when she was just a teenager.

One of the more harrowing revelations from the two-part documentary comes from former teenage heartthrob Drake Bell, who alleged that Peck, now 62, allegedly sexually assaulted him. ID
One of the more harrowing revelations from the two-part documentary comes from former teenage heartthrob Drake Bell, who alleged that Peck, now 62, allegedly sexually assaulted him. ID
Drake Bell and Dan Schneider attend the after-party for “Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh!” on Dec. 2, 2008. Charley Gallay/WireImage
Drake Bell and Dan Schneider attend the after-party for “Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh!” on Dec. 2, 2008. Charley Gallay/WireImage

McCurdy, 31, described the unnamed man — long suspected to be Schneider — to be scary and temperamental.

One of the more harrowing revelations from the two-part documentary comes from former teenage heartthrob Drake Bell, who alleged that Peck, now 62, allegedly sexually assaulted him.

“I was sleeping on the couch where I would usually sleep. I woke up to him — I opened my eyes, I woke up and he was sexually assaulting me,” Bell, now 37, says in “Quiet on Set.”

“I froze and was in complete shock and had no idea what to do or how to react, and I have no idea how to get out of this situation.”

According to Bell, no one believed him except for his father who — when he attempted to raise the issue with studio executives — was told he was being “homophobic” due to the fact that Peck was gay.

“I was just trapped. I had no way out,” Bell recalls, adding that the abuse became “extensive” and “pretty brutal.”

The “Drake & Josh” alum says the alleged abuse is what started him down a self-destructive road.

In May 2004, Peck pleaded no contest to two charges of sexual abuse. He was later sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender.