‘Quiet on Set’ Creators Sued by Former Nickelodeon Producer Dan Schneider

Dan Schneider, ex-Nickelodeon producer and former teenage actor, sued the makers of the documentary “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” on Wednesday for defamation and the implied sexual abuse of minors.

The documentary tells “the untold story of the toxic world behind 90s and 2000s kids’ TV,” including programs such as the kids’ sketch comedy shows “The Amanda Show” and “All That,” which starred actors Amanda Bynes and Drake Bell, and scripted shows such as “iCarly” and “Zoey 101,” starring Miranda Cosgrove and Jamie Lynn Spears, respectively. Dan Schneider was involved in the creation, scripting, and production of these shows.

Schneider is referenced often in the documentary, in which cast and crew discuss their experiences involving toxic work environments and sexual abuse. Actor Drake Bell describes exploitations by a crew member who was eventually convicted of sexual abuse.

Schneider asserts that the documentary falsely implies that he was involved with or knew of the abuse by mentioning or showing images of him alongside mentions and images of the criminal sexual abusers as well as talk of an unsafe environment. Schneider also alleges that the trailer for the documentary falsely implies that he was a child sexual abuser by showing images and videos of him just before promoting the show as a “true crime event.”

The documentary mentions that many of the young women acting in the shows were put in comic situations with sexual undertones. Schneider is portrayed as emotionally abusive, and women writers on “All That” recount inappropriate and discriminatory behavior by him.

While declining to be interviewed for the documentary, Schneider sent a statement used in the show that said in part: “everything that happened on the shows I ran was carefully scrutinized by dozens of involved adults.”

According to the New York Times, the parent company of Nickelodeon investigated Schneider before announcing that he would part ways with the network in 2018, finding that others he worked with considered him verbally abusive, but finding no evidence of sexual misconduct. The documentary stated that the investigation “did not find any evidence of inappropriate sexual behavior” or “inappropriate relationships with children.”

In a statement released about the lawsuit, Schneider said, “In [the defendants’] successful attempt to mislead viewers and increase ratings, they went beyond reporting the truth and falsely implied that I was involved in or facilitated horrific crimes for which actual child predators have been prosecuted and convicted.”

The suit seeks damages for “the destruction of Schneider’s reputation and legacy” by Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of the cable channel ID and streaming service Max, as well as Sony Pictures Television and Maxine Productions, the documentary’s production companies, and Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz, the directors. Nickelodeon is not involved in the suit.

Additional Reading

Ex-Nickelodeon producer Schneider sues ‘Quiet on Set’ makers for defamation and sex abuse implications, AP News (May 1, 2024)

Dan Schneider Sues ‘Quiet on Set’ Creators, Saying Series Defamed Him, The New York Times (May 1, 2024)

Dan Schneider sues ‘Quiet on Set’ producers for defamation, calls series a ‘hit job,ABC News (May 1, 2024)

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