At Burbank protest, former Nickelodeon star says network’s child actors ‘were not safe’
Not long after former child actor Jennette McCurdy ignited new allegations against Nickelodeon, the children’s television network is feeling the heat again.
On Thursday, protesters gathered outside Nickelodeon’s animation studio in Burbank to make more allegations, specifically against “iCarly” series creator Dan Schneider.
Former “Zoey 101” actor Alexa Nikolas — who leads the organization Eat Predators, which advocates for survivors of sexual abuse — organized the protest. She alleged that she and fellow child actors “were not safe” during her time working on the show.
“I did not feel protected at Nickelodeon as a child, personally,” she said in a livestream of the protest posted to Instagram. “I’m demanding that Nickelodeon starts protecting children and not predators.”
Nikolas portrayed Nicole Bristow on “Zoey 101,” which was also created by Schneider. During the protest, she called Schneider “the creator of childhood trauma.”
‘iCarly’ and ‘Sam & Cat’ star Jennette McCurdy says in her new memoir that Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 not to talk about her experiences there.
“I did not feel safe around Dan Schneider while I was working at Nickelodeon,” she said.
Alongside Nikolas, approximately 20 protesters held up signs featuring the network’s bright orange logo and signature green slime. Some posters read “Sickelodeon” and “predators,” and others displayed pictures of various Nickelodeon figures including Schneider and former network executives.
Nickelodeon did not comment on the allegations Thursday. Representatives for Schneider did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.
Nikolas also called out former Nickelodeon employees including Ezel Channel, John Kricfalusi and Jason Michael Handy, who have all been accused of sexual misconduct. Channel and Handy were both previously convicted of sex crimes.
She also criticized former Nickelodeon executives Sharon Lieblein and Cyma Zarghami and Fred Savage, who was a director on “Zoey 101.” In March, Savage was fired from ABC’s reboot of “The Wonder Years” following an investigation into misconduct allegations.
‘Sam & Cat’ star Jennette McCurdy’s damning new memoir has many rethinking how the author’s co-star, Ariana Grande, was treated at Nickelodeon.
“What we’re seeing here is a bunch of ‘professional execs’ at Nickelodeon who did not protect the children on set,” Nikolas said at the protest. “Children on Nickelodeon were not safe, at least when I was on it.”
Thursday’s protest and Nikolas’ allegations come weeks after McCurdy, who starred on the hit Nickelodeon show “iCarly” and spinoff “Sam & Cat,” released a bombshell memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” that discussed her experiences with the network. Without naming Schneider, she alleged that a figure known as “the Creator” pressured her to drink alcohol while underage and said Nickelodeon tried to buy her silence.
“What the f—? Nickelodeon is offering me three hundred thousand dollars in hush money to not talk publicly about my experience on the show? My personal experience of The Creator’s abuse?” she wrote in the book. “This is a network with shows made for children. Shouldn’t they have some sort of moral compass? Shouldn’t they at least try to report to some sort of ethical standard?”
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