Dan Schneider Is Suing 'Quiet On Set' Docuseries Producers

2 May 2024, 15:43

Former Nickelodeon creator Dan Schneider is suing Quiet on Set docuseries
Former Nickelodeon creator Dan Schneider is suing Quiet on Set docuseries. Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images, Investigation Discovery
Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

Former Nickelodeon creator Dan Schneider is suing 'Quiet On Set' producers for defamation.

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[WARNING: This article may contain details that some readers may find triggering.]

Weeks after the Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV brought allegations of inappropriate behaviour and dynamics on many of Dan Schneider's Nickelodeon sets into the public eye, the creator is now suing the creators for defamation.

In Quiet On Set, several former cast and crew members came forward and detailed their experiences while working on Schneider's shows. Drake & Josh star Drake Bell was also part of the series, and came forward as the unidentified minor at the centre of former Nickelodeon dialogue coach Brian Peck's 2004 sexual assault conviction.

At the time, Schneider's representatives responded to the series with a statement, denying accusations that he 'sexualised' the young actors on his shows. He also apologised for his past inappropriate behaviours in a separate on-camera interview.

Now, he's suing the docuseries creators. The lawsuit, obtained by Deadline, calls the series a "hit job" that destroyed Schneider's "legacy and reputation".

Quiet On Set: Drake Bell comes forward as victim of former Nickelodeon dialogue coach Brian Peck
Quiet On Set: Drake Bell comes forward as victim of former Nickelodeon dialogue coach Brian Peck. Picture: Investigation Discovery

The lawsuit states: "No doubt defendants will endeavor to obfuscate what this lawsuit is about by pointing to what they did get right — and Schneider will be the first to admit that some of what they said are true. At times, he was blind to the pain that some of his behaviors caused certain colleagues, subordinates, and cast members. He will regret and atone for this behavior the rest of his life."

"But one thing he is not — and the one thing that will forever mar his reputation both past and present — is a child sexual abuser," the lawsuit continues.

Schneider also released a statement alongside the lawsuit, reading: "Recently the docuseries Quiet on Set highlighted mistakes I made and poor judgment I exhibited during my time at Nickelodeon, most of which happened decades ago during my early career as a producer, working on shows for Tollin/Robbins Productions.

"There is no doubt that I was sometimes a bad leader. I am sincerely apologetic and regretful for that behavior, and I will continue to take accountability for it. However, after seeing Quiet on Set and its trailer, and the reactions to them, I sadly have no choice but to take legal action against the people behind it," he continued.

Watch the Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV trailer

Referencing the inclusion of Brian Peck and Jason Handy in the docuseries, he then added: "In their 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."

"I have no objection to anyone highlighting my failures as a boss, but it is wrong to mislead millions of people to the false conclusion that I was in any way involved in heinous acts like those committed by child predators.

"I owe it to myself, my family, and the many wonderful people involved in making these shows to set the record straight," he continued.

Dan Schneider issues statement after suing Quiet On Set docuseries
Dan Schneider issues statement after suing Quiet On Set docuseries. Picture: Getty

A few days after Quiet On Set aired, a representative for Schneider issued a statement to Variety, in regard to the allegations that his shows 'sexualised' the young cast members.

The statement claims that everything that happened on Dan's shows was "carefully scrutinised by dozens of involved adults, and approved by the network". He argued that if there was an actual problem with the scenes, they would have been taken down.

Schneider's rep goes on to explain that all the "stories, dialogue, costumes, and makeup were fully approved by network executives on two coasts," and that standards and practices "read and ultimately approved every script". They added that all episodes were reviewed and approved by programming executives, and that parents and caregivers were always on set and at rehearsals.

The statement then ends: "Had there been any scenes or outfits that were inappropriate in any way, they would have been flagged and blocked by this multilayered scrutiny. Unfortunately, some adults project their adult minds onto kids’ shows, drawing false conclusions about them."

A Conversation w/ Dan Schneider

Schneider also later apologised for his past behaviour in a sit-down interview with iCarly's BooG!e. In the 19-minute interview, Schneider vowed to hold himself accountable for how he acted on his shows.

He said: "Watching over the past few nights was very difficult. Me facing my past behaviours, some of which are embarrassing and that I regret. I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology."

Addressing the 'disturbing' allegations that Schneider asked for massages from staffers on set, he said: "It was wrong. It was wrong that I ever put anybody in that position. It was the wrong thing to do. I'd never do it today. I'm embarrassed that I ever did it then."

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