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Nickelodeon Creator Dan Schneider Accused of Fostering 'Sexualized' and 'Controlling' Environment

Former Nick stars spoke out against Schneider's "disgusting" behavior in a bombshell report.
  • Dan Schneider is surrounded by Nickelodeon stars as he receives the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Kids' Choice Awards. (Photo: YouTube)
    Dan Schneider is surrounded by Nickelodeon stars as he receives the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Kids' Choice Awards. (Photo: YouTube)

    Four years after longtime creator Dan Schneider left Nickelodeon amid reports he was verbally abusive on set, new details are emerging about his alleged troubling behavior.

    A bombshell Insider report published Tuesday details the "disgusting, controlling" behavior Schneider — the creator of iCarly, Zoey 101, Victorious, and Drake & Josh — exhibited on his shows.

    Former star Alexa Nikolas, who led a protest outside the network's Burbank studio last week, said the environment on Zoey 101 was "traumatizing."

    She recalled a moment in which a syringe of goo was squirted onto Jamie Lynn Spears' face, prompting Schneider to laugh and say, "It's like a cum shot." (A source close to Schneider said the 'goo' was green, just like Nickelodeon's famous slime," adding, "This episode aired and was seen by millions of people and (to our knowledge) not one viewer ever had a concern.")

    Nikolas also claimed Schneider once screamed at her until she began crying, and said he often took photos with teenage actresses sitting on his lap.

    In addition, sources told Insider that Schneider "signed off on all outfits" and "campaign[ed] for the skimpier options" for young, female stars. Victorious star Daniella Monet expressed concern with these costumes, insisting they were "not age appropriate" and that she "wouldn't even wear some of that today as an adult."

    Monet went on to cite a scene in which her character, Trina Vega, ate a pickle while applying lip gloss around it. She says she raised an alarm with Nickelodeon about the inappropriate content, but the network ignored her, and the scene aired as filmed.

    "Do I wish certain things, like, didn't have to be so sexualized?" Monet told Insider. "Yeah. A hundred percent."

    Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon's former president of content development and production, disputed the allegations against Schneider. He said the network's standards and practices approved all scripts, executives watched every episode, and parents were always present on set. "Every single thing that Dan ever did on any of his shows was carefully scrutinized and approved," Hicks added in a statement.

    The allegations included in Insider's exposé come just a few weeks after former iCarly star Jennette McCurdy claimed she was photographed in a bikini at a wardrobe fitting and encouraged to drink alcohol by a person identified only as "The Creator." In her memoir, McCurdy also writes that Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 in exchange for her public silence about her experience with the network.

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Dan Schneider, Nickelodeon, Ariana Grande, Jamie Lynn Spears, Jennette McCurdy, Victoria Justice, Sexual Misconduct