Kenan Thompson doesn’t want “Good Burger ”thrown 'in the trash' due to Dan Schneider’s 'tarnished' reputation

"I think we’re all still figuring it out and navigating. Because the trauma is real, the victims are very real. I don’t want to gloss over that," the "SNL" star said.

Kenan Thompson hopes the adventures of Dexter Reed and Ed will continue, despite the “tarnished” reputation of Good Burger creator, Dan Schneider.

The Saturday Night Live star told Variety that he would happily revisit the Good Burger characters in future movies, with other writers at the helm. In fact, he did so just last year in Good Burger 2, penned by Kevin M. Kopelow and Heath Seifert who co-wrote the first film.

"Those guys know the cadence of those characters just as well, without having tarnished careers,” Thompson said. “It’s about us, as opposed to who had the first idea years ago.”

Lamenting the effect that Schneider’s controversies have had on the franchise, Thompson added, “It’s just sad that that has to be our conversation… The separation of the artist and the man conversation didn’t come into my life at all until recently. There was no need to do that. A guy was a pig, and we knew he was a pig, but it wasn’t like the deviousness since, like, [Bill] Cosby and [Harvey] Weinstein. All that s--- is just way out of bounds.”

<p>Todd Williamson/E! Entertainment/NBC via Getty; Eric Vitale/Getty</p> Kenan Thompson and Dan Schneider

Todd Williamson/E! Entertainment/NBC via Getty; Eric Vitale/Getty

Kenan Thompson and Dan Schneider

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He continued, “That whole thing has just been such a burden for recent times — the conversation of, Do we still listen to Michael [Jackson]? Do we still listen to R. Kelly? What do we do with The Cosby Show? I think we’re all still figuring it out and navigating. Because the trauma is real, the victims are very real. I don’t want to gloss over that. We also don’t want to just throw really solid, creative things in the trash either.”

Schneider was the primary subject of the Investigation Discovery series Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, which featured former Nickelodeon stars making allegations of racism, sexual harassment, sexism, and verbal abuse on sets headed by Schneider, who left the network in 2018. The series also established that two convicted child abusers, Brian Peck and Jason Handy, worked on Schneider's shows.

In the immediate aftermath of the docuseries, Schneider admitted that he owed "some people a pretty strong apology," saying claims that he requested massages from staff members and showed bad temperament in the writers’ room were true, but denied several other allegations.

Related: Victoria Justice says Dan Schneider owes her an apology: 'My relationship with Dan is very complex'

Thompson — who worked on Schneider-produced shows like All That and its spinoff series Kenan & Kel in the ‘90s — has said that he did not personally witness the kind of bad behavior explored in the docuseries, and has positive memories of his experience with the network.

“I feel so guilty saying that,” he added. “All those things started happening after our tenure, because, I guess, no one would even dare. It wasn’t that kind of environment.”

Of those early days at Nickelodeon, he said, “There was no dictatorship about it all. We were all building something and, when you’re building something, I don’t think anybody’s cocky enough to be pulling things behind the curtain.”

Everett Collection Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson in 'Good Burger'
Everett Collection Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson in 'Good Burger'

Schneider last month filed a lawsuit against the Quiet on Set producers, with his legal team calling the doc a "hit job" and arguing that Warner Bros. Discovery, Maxine Productions, Sony Pictures Television, and producers Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz falsely stated and implied that he is a sexual abuser. In his initial response to the series, Schneider cited his support of Thompson and Mitchell as evidence to refute other All That cast members’ claims of racism in the documentary.

Related: Everything Nickelodeon stars are saying about Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV

“Diversity has always been very important to me in my shows,” Schneider 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.”

In his initial response to the docuseries, Thompson distanced himself from the megaproducer, noting, “Dan wasn’t really on Kenan & Kel like that. 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.”

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