Dan Schneider, Nickelodeon, and The Hollywood Machine

Ella Woolsey, Staff

Dan Schneider has produced some of the most prolific TV shows and movies of Gen Z youth. His impact in television and film could be felt in almost every children’s program you watched during the early 2000’s to the early 2010’s, but as audiences age, so does his work. It aged poorly. And in this #MeToo era, his past work is not the only thing that’s revealed his questionable nature.

Nickelodeon executives have a long history of abusing their power in order to exploit children. Ezel Channel, Brian Peck, Marty Weiss, and Jason M. Handy are all convicted pedophiles, as well as former Nickelodeon executives.

Amanda Bynes is one of many actors that has made attempts at a testimony against Schneider. The others have only been anonymous profiles on forums, detailing disturbing experiences wherein Schneider had asked them to expose their feet to him among other things, and this is according to several accounts.

Bynes had a very public breakdown on Twitter. It was the one of the first of its kind. She had been known for her dynamic acting talents on Nickelodeon, and from the moment she was cast in All That, she had made the network hers, but the Hollywood machine never really turns off. It continues to chew up and spit out star after star. And there stood Dan Schneider, behind the scenes, pushing buttons, pulling levers, and turning cranks.

Circa 2017, Bynes had a burner account. Or she might have.  There had been tweets written by an account called “@PersianLa27” whose name was marked as “🅰️🅱️”, commonly thought to stand for her initials.  She had publicly denied the validity of the account’s tweets, stating “I am not @Persianla27. I am not getting married and I am not pregnant. I don’t understand why twitter won’t take @Persianla27 down. I have asked repeatedly. This person continues to impersonate and harass me and twitter needs to take @Persianla27 down.”

If @Persianla27 is not Bynes, then the account predicted allegations that were hardly a theory yet. “One man in particular took hundreds of photos of my feet. I was only 13. And one of the main reasons why I may never be able to get pregnant,” the account wrote. The account, if real, seems to be a spam account of sorts where Bynes can air her dirty laundry, “You see the thing is, I’ve publicly denied this account so I’m able to freely express my personal thoughts without persecution.”

What truly sparked the speculations of Schneider’s fetish was various scenes laden within his own productions, but when one particular nameless actress came out describing various odd situations involving several Nick execs, and Schneider himself, it sent the internet into a frenzy.  The source called anonymously into the podcast, Revenge of the Cis, and detailed pool parties for young talent to be scouted, along with barefoot auditions. This alone would deepen conjecture of Schneider’s inappropriate behavior, but this combined with a tweet made a year beforehand, and the damning foot-centric scenes (and branding, for years the Nickelodeon logo was a large orange foot) of old make Schneider look very guilty.

Futhermore, accusations stem from another very public Nickelodeon scandal.

Jamie Lynn Spears was the lead in Nickelodeon’s hit show Zoey 101. She had shown to be a very promising young actress and her show was wickedly successful for the network.

Spears was one of the first in a wave of very successful early 2000’s television actresses. She had become an icon in her own right, but then she announced her pregnancy at the age of sixteen. Rumors flew about that her pregnancy had ended the show, these are supposedly false.c

Spears had taken to Instagram about January of 2019 to reminisce on her time working on the series. She had hashtagged one of the installments with the tags “#itdidNOTendbecauseofpregnancy” and “#contractwasfinished.”

However, one of many online speculators is runner of gossip forum, Crazy Days and Nights, and entertainment lawyer, Enty. He is an extremely elusive figure, “Enty” being an anonymous pseudonym. That being said, he is believed to have predicted the scandal, but in a way that’s far less palatable for Nickelodeon execs. He wrote, “I don’t even know how you define what list someone is when they are on some ensemble show watched by teens and pre-teens, so go above, and make her a female. Make her pregnant which is causing the producers to have a heart attack because they really don’t need anymore scandals. But wait, there’s more. One of the producers who is old enough to be her grandfather shouldn’t be having a heart attack because of shock, because he is the one who knocked her up. New boyfriends are being lined up as we speak,” back in October of 2007. Two months later, Spears had announced her pregnancy.

Bynes has also supposedly reached out to Enty. Writing, “thank you for all your ongoing support. I Don’t know how Any of these meN, sleep at night, but if there’s one thing that I Do know Is that what’s Done in the dark, always comes to lighT! xoxo[…]Sorry, I thought it was clever 😀 unfortch I will obviously not be making any comment whatsoever (for obvious reasons) and unfortch I feel as though the only way that legitimate stories can make the headlines regarding ____ is if others publicly speak on his behavior. _____ was truly like a 2nd father to me. But things have changed. After the 2nd incident, I don’t know if I will ever be able to have children or have the family of my dreams.” While Enty himself never elaborated on the anonymous actor’s message, many people have pointed out that the capitalized letters spell out “DAN DID IT”. The entry is still on the website.

There have also been suppositions of many inappropriate relationships between Dan Schneider and his younger stars. Rumors have circulated that Schneider had started relationships with Jenette McCurdy and Erin Sanders, both of which were underage at the time. And at the very least, there are images of Schneider groping these girls and him having them sit on his lap.

Jenette McCurdy had posted a vine in 2014 in which she jokingly fakes a meltdown. Makeup caked on her face, surrounded by trash, she says, “Hey, Dan Schneider. I know you’re watching my vine[…] Look what you’ve done to me.” Then later, another vine when she’s covered in bruises. Her caption added some context to the bruises, saying that they happened during a day on set, but many believe they were given to her by Schneider. McCurdy has since come out about her experiences with an eating disorder.

Investigators have since discovered a connection between Jeffrey Epstein and Nickelodeon. Geraldine Laybourne, founder of Nickelodeon, has been found in one of Epstein’s private jet logs, aka the “Lolita Express”.

It’s sort of public knowledge what abuse and exploitation does to a person, and how much Hollywood has screwed its child stars over. But this goes so far past screwing over child stars, and into general predatory behavior. Approach the Hollywood machine with discretion.