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How The Rumors That Nickelodeon's Dan Schneider Sexual Abuses His Teen Stars Grew Into 'Internet Fact'

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | September 1, 2015 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | September 1, 2015 |

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If you’ve spent enough time in the bowels of the Internet, you’re bound to run across a rumor that’s gotten such a huge head of steam behind it that — as far as the Internet is concerned — it’s practically fact. Like, for instance, that the Illuminati is working its dark magic through Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Boy Meets World.

One rumor I invariably run across every few weeks on my Internet travails is that Dan Schneider — the actor from the 80’s sitcom, Head of the Class, who would go on to become the producer behind most of Nickelodeon’s most popular shows (ICarly, Sam and Cat, Drake and Josh, Zooey 101, The Amanda Show, Kenan and Kel, etc.) — is at the very least taking advantage of the young actors in his show, and possibly a molesting monster who sleeps with them.

I need to remind you here, however, that this is nothing but a rumor, and that no one has officially accused Schneider of any untoward behavior.

And yet, if you type Dan Schneider into Google, two of the first three suggested searches are related to these rumors:

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Why Jamie Lynn Spears? Because popular opinion on the Internet is that Dan Schneider is actually the father of Spears’ child, owing to her time on two Dan Schneider shows, Zooey 101 and All That. That’s not even the worst of it. Some suggests that Amanda Bynes’ behavior can be attributed to alleged sexual abuse from Schneider, and that he regularly sleeps with the child stars on his television shows and that the parents look the other way because they don’t want to risk the careers — and the money entailed — of their children.

This is obviously absurd, right? Because not even the most selfish of Hollywood parents would allow their children to be abused for money and fame, right? (I refuse to be that cynical). And yet the rumors persist, and there are even GIFs from various Schneider produced shows that are offered as evidence that his entire empire is built around getting off on the teenage girls on his shows.



Where did this rumor even begin, you might be asking. Good question! A couple of years ago, anonymous commenters on one blog began speculating about accusations made by an anonymous commenter in the comments section of another blog devoted to a Blind Item written by — you guessed it — an anonymous author. Basically, what happened was that anonymous commenters pieced together clues to draw a conclusion that another anonymous commenter was Robert Downey, Jr., and that he was anonymously making accusations of pedophilia against an anonymous person, who anonymous commenters deduced was Dan Schneider.

In short, a lot of guessing by anonymous people lead to rumors that Dan Schneider was sexually abusing the teen stars on his show, and as rumors are wont to do, this one gained a life of its own, continued to persist and spread, and it got repeated so many times that people just took it as fact and continued to repeat it without any thought given to the original source. The details grew bigger and bigger, until one day, when you typed Dan Schneider into Google, two of the first three results pertained to the supposed fact that he knocked up Jamie Lynn Spears.

That is insane.

Is there anything else to substantiate these claims? Sure, one anonymous commenter in the comments on a Reddit thread revealed that Schneider had once paid her $100 to allow him to touch her feet in the privacy of his office. You put that and this image from a Schneider produced show, iCarly together, and Boom! That rumor is fact!


It doesn’t help that most of the comment boards devoted to the topic of Dan Schneider’s alleged sexual abuse also use this photo:


He’s overweight and creepy looking in that photo, and therefore, he must be the father of Jamie Lynn Spears’ baby.

And that, folks, is life in the modern Internet age. Obviously, I don’t know what is true and what isn’t, but it’s terrifying to think that a rumor started anonymously on one blog that is deconstructed on another blog by anonymous commenters could become, in a short period of time, completely entrenched into our pop-culture consciousness.

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