All That Star Says Dan Schneider Reached Out To Her For Support Ahead Of Quiet On Set Doc: 'I Was Terrified Of Him'

 Dan Schneider sitting in his home for apology video after Quiet On Set docuseries.
Dan Schneider sitting in his home for apology video after Quiet On Set docuseries.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

In 2018, it was reported that Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider was let go from the studio due to rumors of creative disputes and allegations of questionable behavior with his young actors. This year, Investigation Discovery launched the docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV on the 2024 TV schedule, and it detailed the numerous allegations made by former child stars who worked with him. Now, one All That star, Giovonnie Samuels, has said that Schneider reached out to her ahead of the docuseries in hopes that she would support him.

Giovonnie Samuels was an actress on one of Nickelodeon’s top ‘90s TV shows All That starring in memorable sketches like “Connect the Zits” and “ChitChat.” She was also one of the many performers from the sketch series who spoke out against its creator Dan Schneider in Quiet on Set. According to Business Insider, she said that before taking part in the ID docuseries, she was reached out to by Schneider himself in hopes she'd support him. She said:

I got a phone call. He reached out a week before the documentary aired. He asked if I could give a quote of support. He was like, 'I love Gio, she's great, she's nice. Great, she could tell my side. He was like, 'You had a good time on set, right? Right?'

When Giovonnie Samuels and co-star Bryan Hearne joined the cast of All That in Season 7, they were the only Black actors on set. Hearne spoke about the demeaning situations he was put through like being in a leotard to portray the prenatal rapper Li’l Fetus and having dogs lick off peanut butter that was smothered all over him. He made claims that those experiences felt like being part of a “torture chamber” and that he wasn’t in a position to say no.

The Freedom Writers actress reported to People that she was in degrading situations herself with claims she was reportedly the only Black actress not given a hairstylist and was taught not to choke during a sketch where she had to swallow large amounts of fake coffee and sugar. Samuels said that as she saw people on set laughing, she felt she had to go along with it because it was her job.

In the docuseries, the Suite Life of Zack and Cody actress said she felt “tokenized” because she and Hearne were the only Black actors of that season and she was allegedly told they didn’t know what sketches to put her in. This was all the more reason why Samuels felt the need to come up with her own ideas for the sketches compared to being placed anywhere like Nickelodeon reportedly planned to do.

Giovonnie Samuels also said the reason why Dan Schneider contacted her about the Quiet on Set docuseries was because she guest-starred on an episode of his show Henry Danger years after her time on All That. This was her reported response after the producer allegedly approached her for support:

I told him I was terrified of him. I said, 'You have the power to make people stars. And I was intimidated by you. I wanted to do a good job.’

In response to the Quiet on Set documentary, Dan Schneider addressed the docuseries allegations with a video apology. Even though the veteran writer and producer said it was “very difficult” for him to watch the show, he claims he could “see the hurt in some people’s eyes” and felt “awful and regretful and sorry.”

However, Schneider is now hitting the docuseries with a lawsuit with claims that the ID docuseries was made to “mislead viewers and increase ratings.” We're still waiting to see what direction this lawsuit will go in for Schneider and Investigation Discovery.

All That star Giovonnie Samuels revealed that Dan Schneider allegedly reached out to her before the docuseries in hopes she’d support him. But, the actress said she reportedly told the Good Burger writer that she was “terrified of him” during her time working with him. With Schneider issuing a lawsuit against the docuseries, it looks like discussions about Quiet on Set and the allegations it contains will not be put to rest just yet.

To learn more about Giovonnie Samuels’ experiences working in Nickelodeon as well as other former child stars from the kid’s network, Quiet on Set is available with a Max subscription.