Dan Schneider sues 'Quiet on Set' makers, alleging defamation. Here's what we know about the lawsuit.

The TV showrunner called the Investigation Discovery docuseries, which premiered in March, a "hit job" in a lawsuit filed May 1.

Dan Schneider, standing onstage along with several actors, accepts an award in 2014.
Dan Schneider, accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award at Nickelodeon’s 27th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards in 2014, is suing over the docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Dan Schneider, who created some of Nickelodeon’s best-known children’s shows, is suing producers of Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, accusing them of defamation. He called the Investigation Discovery (ID) docuseries, which premiered in March, a “hit job” that “falsely implied [he] was involved in or facilitated horrific crimes for which actual child predators have been prosecuted and convicted.”

On May 1, the TV showrunner, who worked for Nickelodeon from 1993 through 2018, filed a slander and libel lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the parent company of ID, Warner Bros. Discovery; producers Maxine Productions and Sony Pictures Television; and the directors, Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz.

The filing says the five-part series wrongly claims he sexually abused the children who worked on his shows, which include All That, The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101 and iCarly.

The lawsuit states “while it is indisputable” that child sex abusers worked on Nickelodeon shows in that era — the doc looks at the convictions of acting coach Brian Peck, who sexually abused Drake Bell, production assistant Jason Handy and animator Ezell Channel — “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.”

Schneider takes issue with the trailer for the series as well as Episodes 1, 2 and 5, which he says “falsely stated and implied [he] is a criminal and child sex abuser.” He claims it was edited “for the sake of clickbait, ratings and views — or put differently, money” and says defendants have “destroyed [his] reputation and legacy through the false statements and implications.”

Schneider added that he expects the defendants to cloud his claims by pointing to what “they did get right” in the doc, as he previously apologized for a lack of professionalism on the set.

In a statement obtained by Yahoo, Schneider admitted that he exhibited “poor judgment” and was “sometimes a bad leader,” which he is “sincerely apologetic and regretful for.” However, he feels the doc makers “mislead viewers” to “increase ratings” and that they went “beyond reporting the truth and falsely implied that I was involved in or facilitated horrific crimes.”

A rep for ID has not responded to Yahoo’s request for comment about the lawsuit.

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV initially aired as a four-part docuseries on March 17 and 18. A variety of former child actors, writers and behind-the-scenes employees claimed it was a deeply toxic work environment under Schneider, where they didn’t feel protected.

In a video conversation with Nickelodeon actor Bobbie K. Bowman (also known as BooG!e), Schneider said viewing the docuseries and facing his past behaviors was “difficult.” He said he owed “some people a pretty strong apology.”

The series, which also streamed on Max, drew a massive 1.2 billion minutes of viewing the week of its release. After more than 20 million people tuned in to the first four episodes, the filmmakers released a fifth episode, hosted by journalist Soledad O’Brien, continuing the discussion.

Robertson told Yahoo that future episodes would likely follow, saying, “We’re committed to continuing the investigation.”

Ahead of the fifth episode, Nickelodeon’s Double Dare host Marc Summers — who was featured in the first episode — claimed that Schwartz and Robertson misled him about the project’s subject matter. He said he was told it was about Nickelodeon but not Schneider, who he never met, nor abuse allegations. Schwartz told Yahoo they were “transparent” in their pitch.

The Amanda Show actress Raquel Lee Bolleau appeared in an early episode of the doc but said she wasn’t asked to appear in the fifth episode, despite her name coming up in the episode. She criticized the doc makers, saying, “Let me tell you what my problem is with this industry: Quiet on Set did the same thing the industry always does — they get what they want from you and then they’re done.”

Financial reporter Chelsea Fagan spoke out against the project, saying she told producers they could not use a clip from a 2022 interview she did with iCarly actress Jennette McCurdy — and they used it anyway. Fagan said she was taking legal action and also said producers weren’t clear with her about the doc’s subject.

Christy Carlson Romano, a Disney Channel actress, said she declined a pitch to participate in an Investigation Discovery doc but wasn’t sure if it became Quiet on Set. She called the producers “trauma tourists” who weren’t trying to fix the problem.