Did Social Media Exaggerate Allegations of Misconduct against Dan Schneider?
Dan Schneider was dubbed "the Norman Lear of children's television" for his contributions to teen and tween entertainment.
So, what happened? How did a man that, for all intents and purposes, defined comedy for Millennials and Gen Z disappear into the mists of time?
Schneider Was Verbally Abusive to His Colleagues
According to The New York Times, Schneider was an unquestionable hitmaker who had a flip side in that he would often flip out and resort to verbal abuse.
While Schneider perceived himself as a person with high standards and "very willing to defend" his creative choices, his colleagues described him as a difficult person to work with.
I’d walk away from acting if Dan Schneider was a producer on all the Nickelodeon projects I worked on, too.
Y’all remember how weird it was to be bombarded by so many feet jokes in iCarly, Drake & Josh, and Victorious? Dan Schneider is pretty much the reason why. https://t.co/K7005VoCYy — vai’s dumbass thoughts (@TheSamoanHokage) June 28, 2021
Apparently, he was also controlling, prone to tantrums and angry emails regardless of work hours. Allegedly, he frequently asked an employee from the costume department for shoulder and neck massages.
Before he was let go by the network, they had conducted an internal investigation which led to the conclusion that his attention to detail was praiseworthy, but the means by which those details were attained, not so much.
Naturally, the network chose to do the right thing and let him go with seven million dollars still owed in his contract.
His Side of Things
However, that was not how Schneider saw things. In his first major interview since the epic fallout, he affirmed that he did not leave the network on bad terms.
Instead, he said that his departure was more of a natural turn of events considering his two busy decades with the channel had left him exhausted. He said,
I took a break to take care of a lot of stuff that I’d let go by the wayside for decades. Whatever I do next, I want it to outdo what I’ve done in the past.
He rang a hundred pounds less on the weighing scale to prove that he was doing better since his exit.
He Caught Fire on Social Media
Once netizens got a whiff of the backstory, compilation videos of him working with child actors began popping up everywhere on the internet.
Some went so far as to dissect, discuss, and make allegations that his scripts purposefully made child actors act out his fetishes, especially those with bare feet.
Schneider, however, found these acts to be baseless and ridiculous. He stood by his statement that the comedy presented in his shows was completely innocent.
I’m not going to be happier about this cause Dan Schneider shows makes me feel uncomfortable and make me disgusted with feet like why? He’s a monster for crying out loud — Helen Sanchez (@icloudhelens) July 2, 2021
He even acknowledged the presence of feet-related humor in his body of work and explained that kids found feet goofy and funny.
Still, the accusations on the internet had reached a threshold, and ViacomCBS was forced to investigate further into the matter.
The findings of said investigation found the kids showrunner to be innocent as no evidence of any sexual misconduct was found.
Schneider is known for his work as a writer and showrunner in hits like All That, The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, Victorious, and iCarly.