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The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

Nickelodeon Scandal

The Disturbing Past of Children’s TV

   Nickelodeon, an all-time favorite childhood TV channel, should be a happy place right? For those who don’t know, Nickelodeon was a very popular television channel starting around the late 90s to early-mid 2000s. This is the channel housing some of the most popular TV shows, such as: “Drake and Josh,” “iCarly,” “All That,” “Victorious,” “Sam & Cat” and many more. You may have heard about some of these shows, from not just TV but other social media apps, considering how popular these shows are.


    How did these shows become so popular so fast and who is behind all of this? The answer would be Dan Schneider. Who is now known for being a famous Television producer and screenwriter did not always own this title. Schneider himself was actually the one behind the screen, Schneider appeared on several shows, “Better Off Dead” and “Head of The Class.” Schneider was always portrayed as the so-called funny ‘fat’ kid, which soon got under Dan’s skin. Soon after Schneider took on writing and producing.


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  One of the first shows that Schneider helped in writing was the popular children’s comedy, called “All That.” This show was a hit for younger audiences through the late 90s  into the 2000s. This really brought up Schneiders title, being a popular kid’s TV producer, This show housed some of the most popular children-young adult TV stars, Amanda Bynes being one. Amanda Bynes is one of the stars Schneider “created” In a way. She first started on the very popular show. “All That” and soon came to have her own show called “The Amanda Show.” Schneider hit a peak and was creating shows left and right. He also kept adding in new children when he saw talent. A place with so many children and happy people must be a great and healthy place to be, right? 


   This statement was not true for Nickelodeon. The adults on set would often wonder and be awfully grossed out by some of the strange behavior on set. As Schneider and other grown adults got more comfortable on set, the behavior would get questionable. Schneider would ask the women on set for massages, ask them to stop what they were doing, and rub his neck/back. These women would find this weird and uncomfortable, but at the same time were threatened Schneider could remove them. Which he could easily do, as he created their career.


Schneider was very obsessed with technology. He loved filming and having electronics. He would often record behind-the-scenes home videos. You would often see on the videos how many people would feel uncomfortable as he came near them. You could see the power difference in the people on set, who has control over who. Being nice to Dan Schneider and not speaking up would be what gets you through.


    Over the years, Dan Schneider came out with new TV shows. The 2000s were a golden year for Nickelodeon and Dan Schneider. In the year 2010 Schneider made a new show called “Victorious” Victorious would have extra parts at the end of every episode that Schneider would especially enjoy making. 

   Many years have passed, and people have noticed that these clips have become increasingly sexual. It would be hard to watch without knowing the true meaning behind these small videos. Most of these videos would contain clips of the TV and music star Ariana Grande doing weird acts, a lot relating to her feet. She would end up with her foot in her mouth, pouring water on her chest in a disturbing way, and using suggestive dialogue. 


   Many women would also complain about how he did not pay them as equally as the men in the company. Schneider was also accused of sexualizing many women on set, which raised anger in the team, for they could not do anything about the situation. In 2003, a Nickelodeon actor and acting coach, Brian Peck was soon arrested after being charged with sexual assault against a child actor. Everyone on set loved Peck and said he loved working with the children on set.  This actor remained anonymous until this year, he spoke about his experience on Nickelodeon as well as this moment in his life. He explains how he was assaulted in brutal ways. This actor was Drake Bell. He appeared on the popular TV show: “Drake and Josh,” During Drake’s teen years he experimented with drugs and took an overall bad turn on life. He was very confused and scared, thinking that he would not change and have a good effect on his life. This was true for many child stars that appeared on Nickelodeon. 


   This scandal raised major concern but the show must go on. This was until the year 2005 when Nickelodeon hired a new employee, a beloved animator, and an employee. Ezell Channel, who was arrested and convicted for molesting two young children. Suspicions were getting harder to ignore as people soon became scared for the safety of their kids. Schneider however was not held accountable for hiring these people as they were not seen as “sex offenders” when applying for the job. 


 When the # MeToo movement began people would start explaining their stories. Their unfair and hostile environment where they worked, unfair pay, and weird interactions. People started feeling able to reach out, feel safe, and not scared to put themselves out there. In the year 2014, Dan Schneider was fired and forced to leave Nickelodeon. They did not find proof of abusive actions against Schneider, though they did find proof of abusive behavior. The set was finally a happy workplace. 


   There is a huge pattern of wild behavior of former child stars. Amanda Bynes struggling with substance abuse and issues and legal trouble, Drake Bell is sentenced to two years of probation and substance abuse, and Brittney Spears struggling with the light in fame. Often, the pattern in these stars is they never had a childhood, never got to be their own person and live their lives. Are children really safe?

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Maia Ruiz
Maia Ruiz, Staff
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