Dan Schneider -- the ex-king of Nickelodeon programming -- has addressed a long-held theory that he's into feet, and channeled that on his shows ... something he says isn't true.
The one-time TV producer -- responsible for creating a number of hit series on Nick over the years, including "iCarly," "Drake & Josh," "The Amanda Show," "Zoey 101" and countless others -- did an interview with NYT ... which straight-up asked him about the foot fetish rumor.
Several people have compiled still shots from different shows of his, and they seem to find a common theme among his child actors ... they seemed to be in a lot of bare feet scenes.
Dan responded with this ... "The comedy was totally innocent," going on to say the foot fetish claims were "ridiculous" and chalked it up to kids finding feet funny/goofy ... insisting he never attempted to sexualize his stars.
Some of his on and off-camera behavior with said stars have been called into question -- suggesting Dan was, at the bare minimum, creepy and unaware of boundaries.
It's all much ado about nothing, though ... according to Dan, who also clarified his reasons for parting ways with Nick in 2018, after a historic 30-year run with the network -- saying he was simply attending to other personal matters in his life that he'd let "go by the wayside."
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However, NYT reports an in-house investigation into Dan's workplace practices got underway around that time ... this after claims of verbal abuse from his ex-staffers. Apparently, the review found merit to some of those claims ... which made him seem high-strung and difficult.
What the HR didn't find any credence in ... allegations of sexual misconduct, something else that had been speculated about Schneider, especially amid the height of #MeToo and his coincidental departure around the same time, when allegations were flying like crazy.
Dan had this to say about alleged inappropriate relationships with the kids back then ... "I couldn’t, and 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."