Former child star Jennette McCurdy pulled back the curtain on her frustrating and troubling experiences working for an allegedly inappropriate man at Nickelodeon, whom she refers to only as “the creator” in her forthcoming memoir.
The iCarly and Sam & Cat alum discusses the allegations in I’m Glad My Mom Died, which explores her work, eating disorders and strained relationship with her mother (who, she says, her , “taught”). eating disorder at age 11). Simon & Schuster will release the intimate memoir on Tuesday.
But an excerpt published by Vanity Fair on Friday (and also reviewed by The Times) shares her account of “the creator,” who she claims pressured her into underage drinking and massaged her, while making promises about her show.
McCurdy, 30, also claims Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 to keep quiet about it.
Nickelodeon officials on Friday did not respond to the Times request for comment.
McCurdy played the spontaneous Sam Puckett in the network’s hit live-action comedy “iCarly” for six seasons from 2007 to 2012 – a show she booked at the age of 14 and also says she was “humiliated to be a part of to be of it”. She starred alongside Miranda Cosgrove (Carly), who became her best friend in real life, and Nathan Kress (Freddie), and then starred in a short-lived spin-off called Sam & Cat with Ariana Grande.
She claims the abuse took place in the run-up to Sam & Cat, a show she hated for a variety of reasons — many of which had to do with her would-be co-star’s absence while Grande pursued her music career. .
In an anecdote about another “frequent” dinner with “the creator” while her spin-off deal was being drafted, McCurdy says he urged her — at 18 — to sip his spiked coffee. She previously described him as having two sides: one as “generous and overly complimentary” and the other as “vicious, controlling and terrifying” and capable of “making grown men and women weep with his insults and degradation.”
“The creator does what I’ve heard from my co-stars that he does with every new star of a show he makes – he takes you under his wing. you are his favorite For now. I like being his favorite at the moment. I feel like I’m doing something right,” she writes, adding, “I’m confused. He just said he could choose anyone which didn’t make me feel special and now he says he chose me because I was talented which makes me feel special again. That kind of confusion is normal around him.”
During that dinner, she says, he put his hand on her knee and massaged her shoulders, but she was too scared to tell him to stop.
A few chapters later, she writes how “the creator” “got in trouble from the network over allegations of his emotional abuse,” which she describes as feeling “like it took a long time and should have happened much sooner.” She also said that as her frustration with the network grew, he promised her a chance to direct an episode of one of his shows, but that never came to fruition because an unnamed “someone” threatened to leave the show if she it did.
“I appreciate the amount of trouble he got into. It wasn’t just a slap on the wrist. It goes so far that he’s not allowed to be on set with any actors anymore, which makes communication between takes difficult,” she explained of the grueling work environment his alleged behavior has led to.
Then, she says, when she called her management company, she was offered $300,000.
“‘And the only thing they want from you is never to talk publicly about your experience at Nickelodeon.’ Specifically related to the Creator,” she writes.
She says the dollar amount was framed by a manager as a “thank you gift” and “free money” from the network, but she claims it felt like hush money.
“What the hell? Nickelodeon is offering me three hundred thousand dollars hush money for not speaking publicly about my experiences on the show? My personal experience of abusing the Creator?” she writes. “This is a network with shows for children. Shouldn’t they have some kind of moral compass? Shouldn’t they at least try to report according to an ethical standard?”
McCurdy says she turned down the money but later complains that maybe she should have taken it.
The book, which also describes how McCurdy felt “robbed and exploited” by fame, also addresses her resentment and jealousy for Grande, whose burgeoning pop career caused the singer to regularly miss work.
“I’m done with being a good sport. I hate being a good sport. If I wasn’t such a good athlete from the start, I wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place. I wouldn’t be on that s-show saying those s-lines on that s-set with that s-hairdo,” she writes. “Maybe my life would be different now. I fantasize that it’s different. But it is no different. It is that. That is it. Ariana misses working to further her music career while I play with a box [for an episode]. I’m mad about it. And I’m mad at her. Jealous of her.”
McCurdy said she quit acting a few years ago because becoming an actress was her mother’s dream and not her own. She’s also been candid about her stint in Hollywood on her podcast, Empty Inside, describing her acting career as “hellish.”
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/books/story/2022-08-05/jennette-mccurdy-book-the-creator-nickelodeon-im-glad-my-mom-died Jennette McCurdy alleges Nickelodeon offered her hush money