Former Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider has addressed his exit from the company in 2018 and denied behaving inappropriately.
The 55-year-old dismissed ‘ridiculous’ rumours that he was verbally abusive and had been inappropriate around child actors.
It comes after speculation on social media that the producer and writer used young actors in his programmes to satisfy foot fetish fantasies – something which Schneider vehemently denies.
Some social media users found the images of actors exposing their bare feet taken from show iCarly disturbing as they feature minors. None were featured in sexual or erotic situations.
Speaking to The New York Times, he accused social media companies of pushing ‘any lie’ and addressed his exit from the broadcaster.
‘The comedy was totally innocent,’ he said, saying that feet were used as comic tools and denying that he ever tried to sexualize his actors.
Schneider left Nickelodeon in 2018 after an investigation into his on-set conduct by Nickelodeon’s parent company, ViacomCBS. The investigation didn’t find any evidence of sexual misconduct, but some of his colleagues accused him of being verbally abusive.
According to the Times, interviews from employees described Schneider as ‘a controlling, difficult showrunner, prone to tantrums and angry emails.’
He also reportedly ‘frequently asked an employee from the costume department for shoulder and neck massages, or texted child actors outside of work hours.’
Schneider denies any inappropriate behavior with his casts.
‘I couldn’t, and I wouldn’t have the long-term friendships and continued loyalty from so many reputable people if I’d mistreated my actors of any age, especially minors,’ he said.
‘I’m very willing to defend creative things that I believe in,’ he said.
iCarly, which Schneider created in 2007, was rebooted earlier this year without Schneider on board. Original stars Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor and Nathan Kress all returned for the show.
Metro.co.uk has reached out to Nickelodeon for comment.
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