Dan Schneider files defamation lawsuit against producers of Quiet On Set series

Dan Schneider has filed a defamation lawsuit against the producers of Quiet On Set: The Dark Side Of Kids TV documentary series, claiming it has “irreparably harmed” his reputation.

The former Nickelodeon TV producer, who created hit shows including iCarly, Victorious, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101 and The Amanda Show, said the documentary falsely implied he “sexually abused the children who worked on his television shows”.

The court documents said that while two people who worked on Nickelodeon shows were later convicted of sexual offences, 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”.

“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,” the lawsuit said.

“Schneider never sexually abused a child, nor has he been charged or convicted with sexually abusing a child.

“The trailer and Quiet On Set’s statements and implications to the contrary are both false and made with reckless and malicious disregard for the truth.”

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in the Los Angeles Superior Court, described Schneider’s portrayal in the documentary as a “hit job” – naming producers Maxine Productions, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Brothers Discovery as defendants.

“Schneider’s reputation and career have been irreparably harmed by the trailer’s and Quiet On Set’s defamatory and malicious content,” the documents said.

“On a personal level, after the trailer’s publication, Schneider was immediately contacted by friends and colleagues in disbelief about the trailer’s false depiction of Schneider as a criminal and child predator.

“While these persons know the truth, the overwhelming majority of the public does not – to them, Schneider is and will remain what defendants have portrayed him to be.

“The harm to Schneider’s reputation, career, and business, to say nothing of his own overwhelming emotional distress, cannot be understated.”

The five-part series, which originally aired on US streaming platform Max, levelled allegations at Schneider including his tolerance of toxic workplace conditions and alleged torment and humiliation of cast and crew on his TV sets.

In a statement given to the PA news agency, Schneider said of the lawsuit: “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.

“There is no doubt that I was sometimes a bad leader.

“I am sincerely apologetic and regretful for that behaviour, and I will continue to take accountability for it.

“However, after seeing Quiet On Set and its trailer, and the reactions to them, I sadly have no choice but to take legal action against the people behind it.

“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.

“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 is said to have launched the careers of child actors who became major stars, including Miranda Cosgrove, Jamie Lynn Spears and Ariana Grande.

The defendants named in the lawsuit have been contacted for comment.