Those troubling Dan Schneider rumors haven’t gone away
Why did the Nickelodeon star get fired?
It’s coming up to six months since Dan Schneider was booted out of Nickelodeon with a $7 million farewell. In that time, the rumors about the star TV producer have not stopped pouring out. Search for his name right now and you’ll see endless videos, blogs and blind items dissecting possible reasons why he split from Nickelodeon, where he worked for decades as the network’s biggest hitmaker – he’s the man behind the favorite shows you saw as a kid: iCarly, Victorious, Zoey 101, Drake & Josh.
The accusations vary hugely from inexplicably bizarre to outright creepy, and have also been boosted by far-right conspiracy theorists who are totally divorced from reality. But the rumors have a common refrain: “Why hasn’t Dan Schneider had his #MeToo moment?”
In the last few weeks, a flurry of new videos have appeared on YouTube examining his social media posts, his work for Nickelodeon and his legacy as a children’s TV producer. We’ve compiled as many of them as we could find into one place – a lot of them, being anonymous, are unverifiable. He did not respond to our request for comment.
‘Dan Schneider has a foot fetish’
Among the most recurrent rumors about Dan Schneider claim that the 52-year-old ex-producer has a foot fetish, and exploited his position at Nickelodeon to get closer to children’s feet.
When the news broke on Deadline about Schneider getting fired, the article accused Schneider of having a “well documented temper.” It also said: “For years Schneider had been under a cloud of suspicion over the treatment of some younger stars of his shows. Among the things that have raised eyebrows are his tweeted photos of the toes of his young female stars.”
So let’s start with the tweets. Some of these below are embeds, some are screenshots – he’s deleted some of the stranger posts (Schneider has not tweeted since he left Nickelodeon in March, although he has liked a few tweets praising him).
A tweet Schneider’s accusers focus on is this post from the Twitter account of Sam & Cat, a show he created. The tweet solicited foot pictures from child fans in the name of promo. A lot of kids responded with photos of their feet scrawled with Sharpie ink.
So far, so weird. The next rumor about the alleged foot fetish is that Schneider used his influence at Nickelodeon to make shows about children’s feet. YouTube conspiracy videos say scenes of characters appreciatively touching each other’s feet, drawing on each other’s feet, even pouring ketchup on each other’s feet, should be interpreted as clues.
Schneider devoted an entire episode of Victorious to one character’s especially smooth feet – “Wow, they’re really soft!” gushes an adult after stroking the foot of Daniella Monet’s character.
“In every show he’s created, he somehow involved feet as much as possible, and worked it’s way into the script so it made sense in the episode,” says a tweet from a popular thread detailing his alleged foot fetish.
Anonymous posts have gone a step further and claimed that Schneider would pay extras to tickle their feet. A five-year-old comment on Reddit said:
“I grew up in LA and was a extra on The Amanda Show a few times. He paid me 100 bucks once just to tickle my feet… In between takes Dan asked me if I was ticklish and I said no, then he bet me 100 bucks he could make me ticklish. I was expecting him to reach over and tickle me under my arm or something like that but he led me to his office. I basically got paid to receive a foot massage and a lot of compliments.”
There’s no way of verifying this rumor – the Reddit account that posted it has now been deleted.
On a recent podcast, actor Noah Munck (he played Gibby on iCarly) was asked about Schneider. Did Munck ever witness sinister behavior, did Schneider have a foot fetish, and did he take advantage of his position as a Nickelodeon producer to pursue that foot fetish?
“I was sort of — I mean if that shit went on, I’m fucking like — that’s devastating to me because I don’t seem him in that light, you know? So watching clips on YouTube [conspiracy videos accusing Schneider of more than just having a foot fetish] and shit of that is like crazy but, I mean the foot fetish shit is like ‘OK bro, c’mon.’ Like I never really noticed that when I was 15 on the show but of course looking in retrospect, it’s like ‘OK, OK’ [hinting that Schneider was obsessed with feet].”
Responding to a question of the other, more troubling rumors about Schneider, Monck said: “Nah, I don’t know… And I never, like I ever observed, like saw anything like that or got hints of that… it might be baseless rumors but I don’t wanna speak, like what if some shit comes out? I don’t wanna be like on record being like ‘no no no’ you know? So I have no clue.”
‘Dan Schneider’s TV shows sexualized children’
It’s hard to dispute that a lot of the scenes, gags, costumes and characters in Schneider’s Nickelodeon shows are pretty explicit for kids. Twitter user @fentyellie made a comprehensive compilation of overtly sexualized moments – there’s a lot of them.
Check out selected bits of dialogue from one iCarly episode called “iBalls.”
Spencer: I want to wash my hands, they smell like clams.
Marty: Oh, you had the clams?
Marty: Hard candy?
Spencer: Well, if it’s hard.
Marty: A new electric toilet seat!
Spencer: Woah! It heats up? Oh man, that is awesome!
Marty: And vibrates! Just think of me when you’re using it.
Spencer: Oh, I will.
Marty: I guess whichever way the wind blows me.
Spencer: Well I hope it blows you…someplace wonderful.
Other sexual gags from the Schneider universe include jokes about boys having sex with vacuum cleaners (is that even possible?), teasing girls for having breasts, and asking girls if they want “to get slapped with a sausage.”
Viewers have also spotted moments in isolation that explicitly sexualize actors portraying children, like this moment in Victorious where a 16-year-old Ariana Grande lies in bed, wearing a low-cut top, and douses herself with water. And the time when she was made to crawl on her hands and knees towards another character. And the time when her head was forced under the table by a guy, as if she was going down on him. And the time when she was seen trying to, I don’t know, jack off a potato, shaking it up and down with two hands, squealing: “Give up the juice!” It’s hard to believe when reliving these moments that Schneider’s TV shows were made for kids.
The blind items
We’ve covered the accusation from an anonymous account that Schneider is mad into feet. There are a lot of other blind items online that are so outlandish and troubling that they can’t be included for legal reasons.
After nearly six months, Nickelodeon fans continue to ask why Schneider was kicked out of the network. That, and what’s the deal with the feet?
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