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Fans pull up more ‘receipts’ of things that have ‘gone over their heads’ in light of scandal surrounding Nickelodeon

Following producer Dan Schneider’s 1990s network debut, Nickelodeon became the premier destination for kids’ television. However, shocking revelations have tarnished his cherished TV empire over the years.

Schneider—the creator of hit Nickelodeon programs including The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, and iCarly—has come under further scrutiny after the release of Investigation Discovery’s documentary series “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.”

The documentary series disclosed that it is, in various respects, an answer to the online discourse surrounding Dan Schneider, the man behind the adored Nickelodeon series. Dan Schneider left the network in 2018 and has long been the target of criticism due to the occasionally bizarre and almost sexualized content on his shows.

In 2021, the writer-producer came clean and denied generating foot fetish content, recognizing the overwhelming amount of strange ‘foot footage’ on his shows. Along with the high-profile behind-the-scenes turmoil that occurred on or near his sets—such as Amanda Bynes’ public breakdown, Jamie Lynn Spears’ teenage pregnancy, and the numerous problems that Jeanette McCurdy revealed—many people wonder: what was going on in Schneider’s programs.

Many fans also noticed some ‘disturbing’ scenes from Nickelodeon shows:

via TikTok
@schneiderslist Creepy Victorious Scenes #danschneider #nickelodeon #fyp ♬ original sound – Schneider’s List

@skainova WHAT IS GOING ON #danschneider #icarly #fyp #foryoupage #foryourpage #viral #nickelodeon ♬ original sound – Skai Nova

@morganmgrove Like what the actual f**k! #victorious #nickelodeon #quietonset #drakebell #amandabynes ♬ original sound – Morgan Grove

While the documentary contains no accusations regarding Schneider’s alleged inappropriate sexual relationships with his young stars, most interviewees—including those who worked on Nick shows and outside observers—agree that Schneider presented his young actors in ways that hinted at sexuality through costumes, humor, and sketches.

For instance, two writers claim that the character name “Penelope Taint” from The Amanda Show was a deliberate innuendo—but he forced them to remain silent about it and lied to Nickelodeon about it—while former All That cast member Leon Frierson recalls feeling uncomfortable in tight spandex costumes, particularly for his “Nose Boy” role.

Among the most alarming revelations are the scenes featuring child actors from Schneider’s shows who also alluded to disturbing sexual innuendos in kid-oriented programs, including a young Ariana Grande squeezing a potato in an attempt to extract juice from it, an episode where she pours water all over herself for being thirsty while behaving in her breathy Cat Valentine voice, and the scene in which a blob of slime spurts onto Jamie Lynn Spears’ face. Moreover, several gags from All That to Zoey 101 are now referred to as “cum shot” jokes by both performers and audiences. All of which comes across as questionable.

Further, one of the most devastating confessions came from former celebrity Drake Bell, who said that he had suffered abuse almost twenty years prior at the hands of Brian Peck, an actor and dialogue coach for Nickelodeon. In 2004, Peck pleaded guilty to two charges and was given a 16-month jail term; nevertheless, the performer he was found guilty of assaulting was not named in court.

Peck allegedly started assaulting Bell sexually, putting the young performer in a predicament in which he felt helpless. “The abuse was extensive, and it got pretty brutal,” he said. “I really don’t know how to elaborate on that on camera. Why don’t you think of the worst stuff that someone could do to somebody as a sexual assault, that will answer your question. I don’t know how else to put it.” This, he said, resulted in self-destructive behavior as he grew older.

To note, several Nickelodeon staff were found guilty of molesting actors portraying characters on episodes on Schneider-led shows.

At a period when kids had limited entertainment options, Nickelodeon and Schneider’s popularity stemmed from their production of shows that appeared to be made exclusively for children. Kids’ TV was at its best during this era, starring young actors who would later become famous adults.

One significant question that remains, though, is whether programs such as Quiet on Set can influence people’s opinions regarding the treatment of child actors in the same manner that previous films have shaped ideas about harassment, sexual abuse, and workplace standards of morality that support Hollywood’s dream factory.


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