Zoey 101 Alum Alexa Nikolas Claims Creator Dan Schneider Sat IN Her Fitting Room As She Changed!
What the f**k. As more and more Nickelodeon stars speak out about their experience working for the network — and one creator in particular — the story just gets bleaker.
Zoey 101’s Alexa Nikolas is the latest to speak in-depth about her troubling time starring in a series created by the now-controversial writer Dan Schneider. She was in the first two seasons of the Jamie Lynn Spears-lead sitcom, Zoey 101. In Wednesday’s episode of the Real Pod podcast with host Victoria Garrick, the actress claimed her boss used to sit in on all her costume fittings when she was just 12 years old. So gross.
Getting candid about the unusual behavior, the now-30-year-old explained Dan, 56, would always insist on being at her wardrobe fittings and would sit on the other side of a “curtain” while she changed. She explained:
“Whenever I had wardrobe fittings, always had to be in them. Thank God there was a curtain, but he was literally on chair right outside of the curtain.”
Alexa described her costumes for her character Nicole Bristow, a Pacific Coast Academy student, as mostly “very short skirts.” You can see a look at what she wore in the inset (above). Referring to photos taken of her dressed in character, she continued:
“ to the point where he would sit in the chair, and I would come out and do a little spin. would look at the wardrobe artist and say, ‘Can I have the Polaroids?’”
Oof. It’s one thing to receive those photos to make actual critical decisions for the show, but the context in which he was asking to keep the pics is super sketchy. These claims also sound harrowingly similar to what iCarly star Jennette McCurdy revealed while promoting her memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died.
Jennette never named Dan by name, but she did refer to a problematic figure, who was behind the scenes of her shows iCarly and Sam & Cat, as the “Creator.” So, most have connected the dots back to Schneider. Speaking to the New York Times ahead of the release of her best seller, she revealed she was once photographed in a bikini at a wardrobe fitting for Sam & Cat and was also encouraged to drink alcohol by the intimidating figure. So, this seems to have been a habit of the creator…
While the showrunner has not responded to Page Six’s request for comment, his press rep did respond to the allegations with a statement from former Nickelodeon president of content and production Russell Hicks. Standing in support of the TV producer, it read:
“Dan cared about the kids on his shows even when sometimes their own families unfortunately did not. He was the shoulder they cried on when something happened to them. He understood what they were going through. Dan was like the great high school counselor you could always turn to for help and guidance. And he was their biggest champion.”
Russell also insisted Nickelodeon “has a talent management department that is keeping tabs on everything that is happening and going to every event these kids go to,” adding:
“Every single thing that Dan ever did on any of his shows was carefully scrutinized and approved by executives at Nickelodeon.”
But perhaps not well enough…
Later on in the Read Pod conversation, the actress admitted she didn’t realize her boss’ behavior was out of the ordinary until she worked on other shows, such as Mad Men. She continued:
“I started to realize, ‘Oh, so the creator isn’t in the room for the wardrobe fittings.’ And I remember them being like, ‘Yeah, no. We just send them a photo, and they approve with the producers.’”
Whoa. It must have been hard for her to grapple with it all. Hear WAY more allegations from her time on Nick, including details about her feud with Jamie Lynn and Britney Spears (below)!
This isn’t the first time Alexa’s gotten candid about her unfortunate start in the biz. She’s long been an advocate for change at the network and even protested outside of Nickelodeon’s Burbank offices in August. During the protest, she held a sign that read:
“Nickelodeon did not protect me.”
She made her feelings even more clear on an Instagram Live at the time, sharing:
“I did not feel protected at Nickelodeon as a child, personally. I’m demanding that Nickelodeon starts protecting children and not predators.”
She also name-checked the Drake & Josh producer, adding:
“I did not feel safe around Dan Schneider while I was working at Nickelodeon.”
A post shared by Alexa Nikolas (@matchthesource)
After working for the children’s network for almost 25 years, Schneider and Nick parted ways in 2018 amid rumors of “abusive behavior” on the sets of his many series. Industry insiders later told Page Six he took a $7 million payout to leave, but Paramount communications executive David Bittler insisted his departure was a “mutual decision.” In a 2021 interview with the NYT, Dan broke his silence on the business split as well as the allegations, saying:
“I wouldn’t have the long-term friendships and continued loyalty from so many reputable people if I’d mistreated my actors of any age, especially minors.”
Well, when you are harassing literal children who are far lower on the food chain than you, it’s reasonable to think some of the child stars were either too scared to speak out for fear of losing their jobs or were unable to fully process what was happening to them at the moment, as Alexa herself suggested. Just saying. Thoughts, Perezcious readers? What do you make of Alexa’s comments? Let us know (below).
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