The Dan Schneider Controversy Explained

At the time of Dan Schneider’s exit from Nickelodeon, reports had been swirling of possible controversial behavior on set. The March 2018 Deadline report on the producer’s split with the kid-friendly TV network included notes about allegations of Schneider’s temper disrupting work, production delays, ballooning budgets, and “complaints of abusive behavior” against him filed by his staff. More concerning was a section of Deadline’s report that contained the following: “For years, Schneider had been under a cloud of suspicion over the treatment of some younger stars of his shows. Among the things that have raised eyebrows are his tweeted photos of the toes of his young female stars.” 

A ViacomCBS investigation found that Schneider was allegedly yelling and throwing tantrums, as well as sending angry emails and texts to child actors outside of working hours, according to a July 2021 Deadline report. He also allegedly asked for shoulder and neck massages. Addressing the accusations, the producer told The New York Times (via People) that he “never interacted with actors in any way, texting or otherwise, that should make anyone uncomfortable.”

“I couldn’t, and I wouldn’t have the long-term friendships and continued loyalty from so many reputable people if I’d mistreated my actors of any age, especially minors,” he said, calling the controversy over the feet pics “ridiculous.” Schneider claimed that if anyone he worked with over the years saw him as “difficult,” it was because of the “high standards” he held for his work. The longtime producer admitted, however, that he may have been a little harsh at times. “Over the years, I’ve grown and matured as a producer and leader,” Schneider said. “I’m sure I’m better and more gentle at communicating today.”

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