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Dan Schneider Is ‘Playing the Victim’ in His Strange Apology Video, Says Zoey 101 Star Alexa Nikolas

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As the public processes allegations made in the docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, former child actor Alexa Nikolas has spoken up about Dan Schneider, the boss who allegedly created and tolerated toxic working conditions.

The much-talked-about doc looks at misconduct involving child actors, specifically at Nickelodeon and particularly on shows created by Dan Schneider, whose series dominated the network in the mid-aughts. Schneider has long been a subject of various rumors and allegations; an exposé dropped in 2022, and he is more or less called out by name as the perpetrator of some truly disturbing behaviors in Jennette McCurdy's memoir. His alleged behavior ranged from writing inappropriate scenes to questionable physical interactions and a bullying. There were also allegations of racism and sexism. His former assistant confirmed that he was a “psychological tormentor” in a post. One of Schneider's creations was Zoey 101, on which Nikolas was a principal cast member.

Alexa Nikolas (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)

Giffoni Hollywood Film Festival Awards Show and Party - Arrivals

Alexa Nikolas (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
Jeffrey Mayer

After Quiet on Set aired, Schneider recorded a 19-minute video interview with a former iCarly star, which was then sent to The Hollywood Reporter for publication (if that seems odd, it is). In the video he apologizes for his temperament at work and says that many of the jokes he wrote or made then he would not write or make now. He confirms that he did, and should not have, asked for massages from cast members. “I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology,” says Schneider.

He also reveals anecdotes that paint him in a favorable light during some child actors' trying times, including Amanda Bynes separating from her parents and Drake Bell's sexual assault case against voice coach Brian Peck, whom Schneider insists he did not hire.

<h1 class="title">Nickelodeon "iParty With Victorious" Premiere - Orange Carpet</h1><cite class="credit">Christopher Polk/Getty Images</cite>

Nickelodeon "iParty With Victorious" Premiere - Orange Carpet

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Now Nikolas, who has pivoted to using her platform to call out and expose abusive behaviors in the child acting industry, is pointing out that these apologies have never actually been made. In her own video, which is nearly two hours long, Nikolas reacts to Schneider's video, and weighs in on other aspects of Quiet on Set. “When someone doesn’t personally come to you and apologize, it’s not an apology,” she says. “If you hear about it through other people, it’s not really an apology, right? An apology is to the person that you hurt…. I would’ve appreciated if Dan apologized directly to me…. Where’s a phone call of an apology? How come you can do [that video]…but not reach out to the person that [you] hurt?”

“I don't forgive Dan Schneider,” Nikolas added. “Not saying I'll never, right? But [Schneider's response] was him playing the sympathy card, centering himself, playing the victim.”

If you're aware of current on-set abuse of a minor, call the Los Angeles County Child Protection Hotline at 1-800-540-4000.


Originally Appeared on Glamour