Nickelodeon Censoring Old Shows After Controversial Documentary?

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

The controversy surrounding the recently released documentary Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV continues to roil. Reportedly, the former kids TV producer for a slew of Nickelodeon hits, Dan Schneider, recently expressed his willingness to censor parts of the classic shows he helped create in the 1990s and 2000s. Schneider’s openness to cutting jokes and editing his old content is, of course, in the immense wake of Quiet on Set. Airing on Investigation Discovery, the docuseries scrutinized the potentially sexualized content in shows like The Amanda ShowVictorious, and Zoey 101.

So far, Nickelodeon has shown no desire to censor any episodes.

Dan Schneider Has No Problem Censoring The Jokes

For his part, early on in the controversy initiated by the docuseries, Schneider stated the jokes under hot scrutiny were penned only with young audiences in mind and intended solely for comedic value—in other words, they’re benign. The producer commented that young audiences solely consider the lines comedic material and never interpreted them the way, decades later, adults seem to be construing them. His lines, to hear him tell it, are merely innocuous and age-appropriate. 

However, an apology video released by the former Nickelodeon producer on March 19, directly after the docuseries’ fallout, would imply a marked shift in perspective. In the video, Schneider both recognizes the current discomfort regarding certain jokes and, in a significant change, agrees that the jokes should be omitted from the relevant series’ returns. 

Nickelodeon Remains Silent

nickelodeon logo jennette mccurdy

Despite this public stance, representatives for Nickelodeon and its gigantic parent company, media powerhouse Paramount Global, have remained silent on the issue. There is also no confirmation that Schneider has formally reached out to commence the proposed edits. 

Quiet On Set Goes Viral

The intensity of the controversy is partially due to infamous scenes highlighted by Quiet on Set that feature the alleged sexualization of young actors like Ariana Grande, Amanda Bynes, and Jamie Lynn Spears. Additionally, specific clips from Schneider’s show—clips which entail questionable content—have made the rounds on YouTube and social media. The shared clips fuel public outcry and naturally encourage a reassessment of these episodes’ appropriateness for current and future audiences. 

What Could Be Censored

Schneider’s camp has issued a detailed response, pointing to specific episodes of the Nickelodeon comedy series Victorious that many deem eligible for censorship. The episodes “Ice Cream for Ke$ha,” from the second season and “Helen Back Again” from the same season may be the first to receive retrospective editing. Were that to occur, it would spell out a momentous event in the history of children’s programming and programming generally—in which modern sensibilities, not far removed from those underlying the source material, serve to guide editing this material, after the fact. 

Criticism extends beyond these two episodes of Victorious and applies to the show’s wardrobe choices. Actress Alexa Nikolas, a costar on Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101, has voiced concerns about the inappropriateness of certain costumes she wore, for instance. 

The Slap Could Make Things Worse For Schneider


Additionally, revelations surrounding The Slap, a website associated with Schneider’s show, heighten the controversy. This website allegedly hosted content that bypassed Nickelodeon’s formal review process. If Schneider had uploaded content to The Slap that his former employer would never have approved–well, that would not be good. Indeed, allegations have been made that venture Schneider employed this very platform to surmount network scrutiny. 

However, his representatives deny this claim, duly contesting it. Schneider’s reps maintain all content, regardless of where it aired or was uploaded, underwent standard approval procedures. 

Source: Hollywood Reporter