Jennette McCurdy: Nickelodeon Had Double Standard for Ariana Grande, Offered Me $300,000 to Keep Quiet About Mistreatment
Jennette McCurdy's new memoir, I'm Glad My Mom Died, is chock full of shocking allegations about the former child star's time at Nickelodeon.
According to excerpts obtained by the New York Times, in the book McCurdy writes about her toxic relationship with her abusive mother, the pitfalls of child stardom and mistreatment she experienced while working with Nickelodeon.
In particular, McCurdy gives more details about what went on behind the scenes of Sam & Cat, the 2013 iCarly and Victorious spinoff that was canceled after one season and lots of rumored drama.
In the memoir, McCurdy alleges Nickelodeon set a "double standard" for her co-star Ariana Grande during the filming of Sam & Cat.
"What finally undid me was when Ariana came whistle-toning in with excitement because she had spent the previous evening playing charades at Tom Hanks' house. That was the moment I broke," McCurdy writes, claiming Grande was allowed to pursue other work — and subsequently further her career — while she was not.
Over the years, fans have speculated that McCurdy and Grande didn't get along during their time together on Sam & Cat. In 2014, McCurdy was absent from the Kids' Choice Awards, while Grande attended with the rest of the Sam & Cat cast, fueling rumors of salary disputes and feuds. In 2015, McCurdy told E! News that the two "butted heads" in a "sisterly way."
At the time, Grande denied the salary rumors while McCurdy vaguely said, "I was put in an uncomfortable, compromising, unfair situation (many of you have guessed what it is) and I had to look out for me."
In her memoir, McCurdy also alleges Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 to keep quiet about the mistreatment she experienced during her time at the network, which she declined.
The actress also details horrifying child star experiences, including being photographed in a bikini during a wardrobe fitting and encouraged to drink alcohol by a producer she refers to as "the Creator" — a possible reference to Dan Schneider, who created several hit Nickelodeon shows during his time there, including iCarly and Sam & Cat.
In 2018, Schneider and Nickelodeon mysteriously parted ways at the height of the #MeToo movement following years of rumors about his alleged abuse of young Nickelodeon stars.
In 2021, someone who worked with Schneider told the New York Times they felt "uncomfortable when he frequently asked an employee from the costume department for shoulder and neck massages, or texted child actors outside of work hours."
Schneider has also been accused of being "verbally abusive" and "difficult to work with."
Many fans have also pointed out the string of Nickelodeon stars who struggled and alluded to abuse following their time at the network — namely Amanda Bynes, whose career was launched at Nickelodeon and who worked with Schneider — and have called for the exposure of Schneider and his alleged actions as a Nickelodeon producer.
Perhaps McCurdy's story will finally be the straw that breaks the camel's back in finding justice for child stars at Nickelodeon (and Hollywood in general).
So far, there has been no comment from Nickelodeon.
I'm Glad My Mom Died hits bookshelves Aug. 9.