You might remember that Dan Schneider—the guy who created The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, iCarly, and a number of other aughts Nickelodeon hit shows—abruptly left the kids TV network in early 2018 and retreated from the public eye with little explanation as to what the fuck happened.
The timing, less than a year after the #MeToo movement had galvanized public accountability for sexual assault and misconduct in the United States, led many to wonder whether why Nick and Schneider had parted ways so suddenly and whether it had anything to do with the foot fetish rumors swirling around the TV exec for years online. But according to a new interview with The New York Times published Wednesday, Schneider agreed to leave the network after an internal investigation found that he was verbally abusive on his sets. The guy also addressed those foot fetish rumors head-on for I think the first time ever?
Per the Times:
The Viacom review came amid internet chatter that trafficked in innuendo about the appropriateness of Schneider’s presence in the world of children’s entertainment.
Online denizens posted compilations that stitched together scenes from Schneider’s shows, videos he has taken on set and pictures of him with child actors, to raise questions about his behavior with the young people he worked with. Shots in the shows of bare feet were presented as evidence of a fetish. Other scenes were dissected and discussed as scripted moments of wink-wink sexual innuendo, acted out by a teenage cast.
Schneider said he was well aware of the postings, which he described as “ridiculous.” He said it was sad that social media companies can freely push forward “any lie.” Kids find feet goofy and funny, he said, and there was no effort to sexualize his young stars.
“The comedy,” he said, “was totally innocent.”
But the internet noise had garnered the attention of Schneider’s bosses by 2018, when the #MeToo movement had arrived.
ViacomCBS interviewed dozens of employees, according to four people with knowledge of the review who said they were not authorized to discuss it. The review found no evidence of sexual misconduct by Schneider, the people said, but it did find he could be verbally abusive to people he worked with.
So........not a sex creep. Just an asshole. Got it.
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