Kenan Thompson speaks out about “Quiet on Set” and working with Dan Schneider at Nickelodeon: 'Investigate more'

"It’s supposed to be a safe place for kids. And to hear all about that is just like, 'How dare you?'" the "All That" star said of claims made about the network in the explosive docuseries.

Kenan Thompson is speaking out about his time working with Dan Schneider at Nickelodeon for the first time since the release of Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.

The Saturday Night Live cast member, who worked on Schneider-produced shows like All That and its spinoff series Kenan & Kel in the 1990s, discussed his perspective on the Investigation Discovery documentary series during Wednesday's Tamron Hall Show. “It’s tough. It’s a tough subject, you know?” Thompson said. “It’s tough for me because I can’t really speak on things that I never witnessed, you know what I’m saying? Because all these things happened after I left, basically.”

<p>Tollin/Robbins Productions/Everett</p> Kenan Thompson on 'All That'

Tollin/Robbins Productions/Everett

Kenan Thompson on 'All That'

Thompson continued by distancing himself from Schneider. “Dan wasn’t really on Kenan & Kel like that,” he explained. “I mean, he got a ‘created by’ credit, but it was a different showrunner, so our worlds wasn’t really overly overlapping like that outside of All That, necessarily. And then all of that negativity kinda started happening outside of our tenure there, you know what I mean? So I wasn’t really aware of a lot of it.”

According to IMDb, Schneider has writing credits on 11 Kenan & Kel episodes, and is credited as a co-executive producer on every episode of the show’s first two seasons. Schneider also wrote and produced numerous episodes of All That that Thompson appeared in, and, perhaps most significantly, has a screenwriter and co-producer credit on Good Burger, the movie spinoff of the popular recurring All That segment.

<p>Kevin Winter/Getty</p> Dan Schneider

Kevin Winter/Getty

Dan Schneider

In his own response to Quiet on Set, Schneider cited his support of Thompson and Kenan & Kel costar Kel Mitchell as evidence to refute other All That cast members’ claims of racism in the documentary. “Diversity has always been very important to me in my shows,” he said. “If you go back to the very first Nickelodeon show I ever made, that's very evident, as it is in the second one, and then the first movie I ever made for Nickelodeon which starred Kenan and Kel, and every show I did after that had a lead Black actor in it. I'm very proud of that. It's very important to me, and not only am I proud that they were in my shows, I'm exceptionally proud of the achievements they've had beyond my shows. They've gone on to bigger and better things and that gives me a great sense of pride.”

Thompson, who was 15 when All That premiered, also extended sympathy to his fellow former Nickelodeon stars who discussed the toxic work environment they endured in Quiet on Set. “My heart goes out to anybody that’s been victimized, or their families,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing that the doc is out and it’s putting things on display, stories that need to be told for accountability’s sake. But it’s definitely tough to watch because I have fond memories of that place and I have fond memories of my costars and stuff like that. So to hear that they’ve gone through terrible things like that is really tough.”

<p>Tollin/Robbins Productions/courtesy Everett Collection</p> Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson on 'All That'

Tollin/Robbins Productions/courtesy Everett Collection

Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson on 'All That'

Later in the interview, Thompson reiterated his support for the doc. “Investigate more,” he said. “It’s supposed to be a safe place for kids. And to hear all about that is just like, ‘How dare you?’”

Nickelodeon offered the following statement to EW about the documentary: “Nickelodeon as a matter of policy investigates all formal complaints as part of our commitment to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct. Our highest priorities are the well-being and best interests not just of our employees, casts and crew, but of all children, and we have adopted numerous safeguards over the years to help ensure we are living up to our own high standards and the expectations of our audience.”

Thompson previously credited Schneider with helping him make amends with Mitchell after the former costars had a falling out. “Dan Schneider was the one person who was finally able to bring us back together,” Thompson wrote in his memoir When I Was Your Age: Life Lessons, Funny Stories & Questionable Parenting Advice From a Professional Clown. “One day, he called me and said, ‘Listen, I don’t know if this is a touchy subject or not. I know you haven’t spoken to Kel in a while, but do you have a problem with him? And do you have a problem with me putting him on a new show?’ Of course I didn’t.”

Later, Thompson wrote, “Finally, in 2015, Dan called me again, this time to talk about doing a Good Burger reunion. ‘Have you talked to Kel in a while?’ I had not. ‘I feel like he’s changed. He told me he’s in the church now.’ ‘Oh, really?’ ‘Yeah, he’s done a full one-eighty, as far as humility is concerned and cleaning up any kind of bad blood with people he rubbed the wrong way in the past. He’s really trying to repair those relationships… You guys should talk.’”

Thompson and Mitchell patched things up and reunited for last year's Good Burger 2, which featured other All That alums. Leading up to the sequel's release, the pair appeared together in a bit at the Emmys, with former costars Lori Beth Denberg and Danny Tamberelli at '90s Con, and on SNL in a hilarious gritty Kenan & Kel reboot sketch.

Watch Thompson's full interview on the Tamron Hall Show video above.

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