Former Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider, whose shows included “iCarly” and “Victorious,” has reportedly been accused of misconduct.
According to a new report from Insider, writers, actors and crew members felt uncomfortable working on his shows due to “sexualized scenes” in the producer’s scripts. It’s the latest set of allegations against Schneider who has also been accused of verbal abuse on the set of his children’s programs.
The Insider report described Schneider as creating and “laughing hysterically” at one scene in “Zoey 101” where 13-year-old actor Jamie Lynn Spears was hit in the face with a squirt of goo.
Actor Alexa Nikolas, Spears’ co-star who recently protested unsafe working conditions at Nickelodeon’s studio in Burbank, California, described hearing a cast member say: “It’s like a cumshot.”
“We’re talking about a minor,” Nikolas told Insider. “I think Jamie was 13, and they’re squirting stuff on her face to make it look a certain way.”
Insider reported that a person close to the producer clarified that the goo was akin to Nickelodeon’s slime.
One unnamed writer said Schneider “openly stated he didn’t like having female writers in the writers room” despite making girl-led shows and that he created a “maddening, disgusting, controlling little bubble.”
The report noted that Schneider allegedly asked two female writers on “The Amanda Show” and other female colleagues to massage him. A source close to Schneider said he regrets asking for massages and agreed it wasn’t appropriate.
Schneider is also alleged to have asked for “skimpier” outfits for the girls in his show “Victorious” and having one female actor ― Daniella Monet ― film what she described as a “sexualized” scene featuring her eating a pickle.
Last year, The New York Times revealed that Nickelodeon had decided to part ways with Schneider after an investigation found he was verbally abusive to co-workers.
The latest allegations come just weeks after former “iCarly” actor Jennette McCurdy’s memoir “I’m Glad My Mom Died” described “The Creator” – who is believed to be Schneider – pressuring her to drink alcohol while she was underage. McCurdy also claimed that she was offered $300,000 to never publicly discuss her time at Nickelodeon, specifically while working with “The Creator.”
Schneider told The New York Times that video compilations that “raise questions” about his work with child actors ― including scenes featuring actors’ feet ― were ridiculous.
“The comedy was totally innocent,” he told the newspaper.
HuffPost reached out to Schneider’s production company, which referred to a statement from Russell Hicks, a former Nickelodeon president of content and production.
Hicks’ statement said Schneider cared about kids on his shows, offering help and guidance “when sometimes their own families unfortunately did not.”
Hicks said Nickelodeon has a talent management department “that is keeping tabs” on child actors’ lives, and, like with other businesses, there are workplace rules “that have to be followed.”
“Nickelodeon’s reputation as the best in kids’ television required that nothing went on without the company knowing,” Hicks said. He continued:
“There is a standards and practices group that reads every script and programming executives looking at every episode. Add to that everyday on every set, were the parents and caregivers and their friends watching every single frame of footage and listening to every joke. They had a billion dollar brand to protect. Every single thing that Dan ever did on any of his shows was carefully scrutinized and approved by executives at Nickelodeon.”
This story has been updated with a statement forwarded by Schneider’s production company.