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Dan Schneider's Apology Is Not Enough

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | March 20, 2024 |

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | March 20, 2024 |


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Dan Schneider, the prolific creator who reigned over Nickolodeon for two decades, gave a candid and emotional interview to BooG!E (of iCarly) in the wake of revelations made in Investigation Discovery’s recent four-part docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV. In the 19-minute video, Schneider expressed remorse and addressed allegations of toxic workplace environments and mistreatment of child actors and crews on his many shows.

“Watching over the past two nights was very difficult — me facing my past behaviors, some of which are embarrassing and that I regret. I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology,” Schneider said. “There are definitely things that I would do differently. The main thing that I would change is how I treat people and everyone. I definitely, at times, didn’t give people the best of me. I didn’t show enough patience. I could be cocky and definitely over-ambitious, and sometimes just straight up rude and obnoxious, and I’m sorry that I ever was.”

Schneider confronted most of the allegations made in the docuseries, apologizing for the way he treated his writers, for all of the massages he insisted actors and other crew members give him — “It was wrong. It was wrong that I ever put anyone in that position. It was wrong to do” — and for some of the jokes, he acknowledged in retrospect, crossed the line. “All those jokes … were written for a kid audience because kids thought they were funny and only funny,” he insisted while conceding that the jokes should be cut. “I want my shows to be popular … the more people who liked the shows, the happier I am. So if there’s anything that needs to be cut because it’s upsetting somebody, let’s cut it.”

Schneider also confessed that finding out that Drake Bell had been repeatedly sexually assaulted by Brian Peck was the “darkest” period of his career. “When Drake and I talked and he told me about what happened, I was more devastated by that than anything that ever happened to me in my career thus far.” In the docuseries, Bell acknowledged that Schneider was supportive, and Schneider seemed genuinely upset as he recounted helping Drake’s mother write a statement to be read in court during Peck’s sentencing hearing. He also made sure to mention the fact that 50 other people inexplicably supported Peck. “A lot of them were pretty famous. Of course, Drake was devastated that that happened. And even more disappointing, 41 of those people wrote letters for Peck’s character, letters praising him for who he was and asking for leniency.”

“When I watched the show, I could see the hurt in some people’s eyes, and it made me feel awful and regretful and sorry,” Schneider continued. “I wish I could go back, especially to those earlier years of my career, and bring the growth and the experience that I have now and just do a better job and never, ever feel like it was OK to be an asshole to anyone, ever,” Schneider added.

To his credit, Schneider seemed genuinely remorseful and did not deflect blame onto others. There are some instances, however, where contrition — no matter how heartfelt or genuine — is not enough, particularly when it involves two decades of bad behavior and the mistreatment of children. These were not isolated incidents; Quiet on the Set outlined patterns of abuse to child actors, writers, and crew members. Further, in a 2021 interview with the NYTimes, he denied many of the same allegations made in the docuseries. He also expressed no regrets in the wake of the HR investigation that led to his 2018 dismissal. It was only after a televised and widely watched docuseries laid out all the evidence and witness testimony that Schneider apologized, and only in the context of a friendly interview with a former employee.