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Dan Schneider Sues ‘Quiet on Set’ Producers for Defamation

By Michael May 2, 2024
Eric Vitale/Getty Images

Dan Schneider is suing the producers of Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV for defamation, calling the Investigation Discovery docuseries “a hit job.”

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, May 1, and obtained by Us Weekly, names Warner Bros. Discovery, Maxine Productions, Sony Pictures Television and directors Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz as defendants, alleging that the series falsely implies that Schneider “sexually abused the children who worked on his television shows.”

“While it is indisputable that two bona fide child sexual abusers worked on Nickelodeon shows, it is likewise indisputable that Schneider had no knowledge of their abuse, was not complicit in the abuse, condemned the abuse once it was discovered and, critically, was not a child sexual abuser himself,” the lawsuit states. “But for the sake of clickbait, ratings, and views — or put differently, money — Defendants have destroyed Schneider’s reputation and legacy through the false statements and implications that Schneider is exactly that.”

Schneider is seeking damages for his tarnished reputation, harassment he’s experienced since the series aired, emotional pain and suffering and his loss of financial and career opportunities.

Courtesy of DanWarp/YouTube

The former producer has been open about the mistakes he made during his time at Nickelodeon, but he has continually denied knowledge of the sexual abuse committed by others at the network, including dialogue and acting coach Brian Peck.

“Recently the docuseries Quiet on Set highlighted mistakes I made and poor judgment I exhibited during my time at Nickelodeon, most of which happened decades ago during my early career as a producer, working on shows for Tollin/Robbins Productions,” Schneider said in a statement to Us Weekly. “There is no doubt that I was sometimes a bad leader. I am sincerely apologetic and regretful for that behavior, and I will continue to take accountability for it.”

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But Schneider’s mistakes, he says, do not rise to what Quiet on Set implies them to be.

“In their successful attempt to mislead viewers and increase ratings, they went beyond reporting the truth and falsely implied that I was involved in or facilitated horrific crimes for which actual child predators have been prosecuted and convicted,” the statement continues.

The lawsuit points to specific YouTube comments under the trailer for the series, which indicate that viewers took the footage to mean Schneider was guilty of sexual abuse himself. The suit calls visual depictions in the series “purposefully and intentionally defamatory in that they falsely and repeatedly state or imply that Schneider is a child sexual abuser and committed crimes in this regard.”

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Schneider’s statement concludes, “I have no objection to anyone highlighting my failures as a boss, but it is wrong to mislead millions of people to the false conclusion that I was in any way involved in heinous acts like those committed by child predators. I owe it to myself, my family, and the many wonderful people involved in making these shows to set the record straight.”

Schneider exited Nickelodeon in 2018 after he was accused of misconduct. At the time, he denied the allegations against him. Ahead of Quiet on Set’s premiere, a rep for Schneider released a statement emphasizing his support of the child stars he worked with.

“Dan cared about the kids on his shows even when sometimes their own families unfortunately did not. He understood what they were going through and he was their biggest champion. The fact is many of the kids on these shows are put in the untenable position of becoming the breadwinner for their family and the pressure that comes along with that,” the statement read. “Add on top of that the difficulties of growing up and having to do so under the spotlight while working a demanding job, all as a child. That is why there are many levels of standards, executives, lawyers, teachers and parents everywhere, all the time, on every set, every day. However, it is still a hard place to be a kid and nobody knew that better than Dan.”

By Michael

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