You'll never re-watch The Amanda Show again after you find out how it was filmed.

Content warning: This story includes descriptions of child sexual abuse.

Amanda Bynes was undoubtedly Nickelodeon's shining star during the late '90s and early 2000s. She was charismatic, funny, and stole every show. 

If you grew up during this period or had kids who watched TV at the time, you will undoubtedly remember The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101 and iCarly.

But the man behind all of these shows, Dan Schneider, wasn't so well known - until now. 

In a new ID documentary Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, many disturbing allegations have been made against him, as well as the wider Nickelodeon network. Schneider has even now released a 19-minute YouTube video apology explanation.

Watch: a look back of Amanda Bynes on The Amanda Show. Post continues below. 

Video via Nickelodeon.

Schneider first discovered Bynes when she was a child actor performing at the Los Angeles Laugh Factory. He gave her a role on one of Nickelodeon's sketch shows All That. Soon afterwards, Bynes starred in her own spin-off live action sketch comedy series, The Amanda Show, written and created by Schneider.

There's one sketch from the show that has since resurfaced on social media and gone viral — for all the wrong reasons. 


It was part of Bynes' recurring 'Amanda's Jacquzzi' sketch where guest actors would sit in a hot tub with Bynes while she interviewed them,

In one particular clip, Schneider appears on camera, sitting fully clothed in the hot tub with Bynes, who is wearing a swimsuit. Schneider introduces himself as the executive producer and head writer of The Amanda Show, joking that he wrote the "whole conversation that we're having right now."

Bynes then asks him for a raise. He says no. They are then delivered two plates of spaghetti, which they proceed to eat in the hot tub. 

The episode aired in 2002, meaning Bynes would have been 16 at the time.

It hasn't aged well.

The scene in question between Amanda Bynes and Dan Schneider. Image: Nickelodeon. 


This is just the tip of the iceberg in a series of disturbing allegations about Schneider and the Nickelodeon network. 

Coerced massages. 

In the documentary, two former The Amanda Show writers and a costume designer — all female — said Schneider made them massage him. They said they were frequently interrupted at work to massage Schneider's neck and were routinely subject to misogynistic comments. One also alleged that Schneider showed her pornography at work, without consent.

"I thought to myself, 'Don't be a complainer and do whatever you have to do to get this job,'" said former TV writer Jenny Kilgen.

Kilgen said Schneider allegedly had all of his male writers come to his office to pitch ideas before inviting Kilgen in and asking her if she used to do phone sex. In 2000 she filed a lawsuit against The Amanda Show's production company alleging gender discrimination and a hostile work environment. The suit was later settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

An editor also shared their experience in the Quiet on Set documentary, alleging they saw Amanda Bynes giving Schneider neck massages. Bynes was 13 when the show began in 1999 and it ran for four years. 


Schneider has since said he regrets asking his colleagues and the actors for massages.

"It was wrong," Dan said during a YouTube interview. "I'd never do it today. I'm embarrassed that I did it then. I apologise to anybody that I ever put in that situation."

He also released a statement following the documentary airing, which said: "Dan deeply regrets asking anyone for neck massages. Though they happened in public settings, he knows this was highly inappropriate and would never happen again."

An 'inappropriate relationship' with Amanda Bynes.

Those who worked alongside Bynes and Schneider said the TV exec was particularly close with the child actor on set, describing it as "a little odd".

"I definitely saw Amanda being very close physically with Dan," an editor said to Quiet on Set. 

"There were many times I saw Amanda sitting behind him hugging him, or giving him a neck massage. Dan and Amanda had a close relationship. I didn't think anything different than that."

Schneider and Bynes parted ways after he allegedly tried to help her get emancipated from her parents in 2002 when she was 16. Schneider has defended his actions, saying he was simply trying to support the child actor's wishes.

A 'toxic' work environment.

Crew and writers on The Amanda Show and Drake & Josh alleged their working conditions under Schneider were "toxic" and "hostile".

One staffer said she often edited shows from 8am through to midnight without eating or going to the bathroom. Another said she was threatened by Schneider when she reported the conditions to the writers guild.


TV writer Kilgen shared a story in the documentary about what happened to one of her female colleagues, describing it as "the wrongest thing I've ever seen happen to a woman in a professional environment ever".

They were in the writers' room working on scenes for a female child actor, and Kilgen's female colleague was sharing a story about her own high school experience. Schneider then allegedly became inappropriate. 

"Dan just said, 'Do you know what would be funny? If you leaned over the table and acted like you were getting sodomised and told that story.'" 

The female colleague originally refused to, but eventually did it after repeated pushing from Schneider.

Sex offenders on set.

One of The Amanda Show's production assistants, was Jason Handy. He allegedly emailed a sexual photo of himself to an 11-year-old girl who was an extra on the series. 

Authorities found child porn at Handy's house, along with Ziploc bags containing labelled trinkets from minors and a number of disturbing journal entries. In one entry Handy described himself as a "pedophile, full-blown" and wrote that he struggled with "finding a victim to rape if I have to".

In 2003, Handy was arrested for "lewd acts with children", with the arrest press release asserting that he met some of those children on set. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

Brian Peck was an acting and dialogue coach on The Amanda Show.

Peck was arrested in 2003 on 11 charges of child sexual abuse with an unnamed child actor. In 2004, Peck pleaded no contest to two charges of child sex abuse. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender.


That unnamed child actor was Drake Bell — well known for his starring roles in The Amanda Show and Drake & Josh. Bell chose to share his story publicly via Quiet on Set about what he endured at the hands of Peck.

Bell was 15 at the time of the sexual assault. 

"It just got worse and worse and worse and worse. I was just trapped. I had no way out," he said during the documentary. "The abuse was extensive and it got pretty brutal. I don't know how to elaborate on that on camera, really… Why don't you think of the worst stuff that someone could do to somebody as a sexual assault, and then I'll answer your question. I don't know how else to put it."

Drake & Josh star Drake Bell then and now. Image: Nickelodeon/Quiet on Set.


Pressuring teens to drink and "controlling" behaviour.

iCarly actor Jennette McCurdy has previously levelled accusations against Schneider.

In an interview in The Washington Post, she said: "It's important to talk about. It was so commonplace, his behaviour, and it was so accepted because everyone was scared of losing their job. I don't blame any of them. I get it. But it was really unfortunate; everything that happened in a children's television series environment. It really seems like there's not much of a moral compass there."

She recalled occasions where Schneider allegedly provided an unsolicited shoulder massage and pressured her to sip his alcohol-spiked coffee.

According to Jennette, after allegations of emotional abuse, Schneider was eventually forbidden from being on set with any actors and allegedly operated out of what she described in her book as a "cave-like room to the side of the sound stage, surrounded by piles of cold cuts and Kids' Choice Awards blimps, his most cherished life accomplishment."

Inappropriate sexual innuendos with tween actors.

Jamie Lynn Spears starred as Zoey Brooks on Nickelodeon's Zoey 101. She was 14 when the show began in 2005.

Staffers on the shows said in Quiet on Set there were scenes or props that they felt "could be sexual innuendo" though bringing it up to Schneider felt impossible.


One cast member recalled a prop person coming to set with a syringe of liquid for a scene in which one of the tween actors had to "bite the tip" of a tube of goop. The prop person squirted the liquid onto Jamie Lynn Spears's face.

"First, it was Dan, roaring laughing, then everyone kind of giggling. We heard the boys saying 'It's a cum shot.' And I had no idea what that meant," the cast member said.

Dan Schneider and Jamie Lynn Spears in the early 2000s. Image: Getty.


Dan Schneider's response.

In 2018, Schneider's tenure at Nickelodeon ended suddenly. 

In a news report about the exit, Deadline reported that it had heard "multiple complaints of abusive behaviour against Schneider filed by members of his staff." It also noted that, "for years, Schneider had been under a cloud of suspicion over the treatment of some younger stars of his shows".

Following the release of the new documentary and its many allegations, Schneider issued a series of statements, and has also done a sit-down 19-minute YouTube interview. In the video, Schneider is interviewed by former iCarly actor BooG!e, and they categorically go through all the allegations made.

"Watching over the past two nights was very difficult, me facing my past behaviours, some of which are embarrassing and that I regret. I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology," he said. 

"In the writers' room, there's no doubt that sometimes those jokes went beyond the pale and I said things that went too far or made practical jokes that went too far. That was wrong, and that was because I was an inexperienced producer and I was immature. It wouldn't happen today, I'm just really sorry it happened."

This article was originally published on March 20, 2024 and has since been updated with new information.

If this brings up any issues for you, contact Bravehearts, an organisation dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse, on 1800 272 831.

Feature Image: Nickelodeon.