Former child actor Jennette McCurdy revealed her experience working with Nickelodeon and the exploitation she faced, plus her toxic relationship with her mother.
In an excerpt from her memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” McCurdy revealed the explorative moments she faced as a child actor while working on the sets of “iCarly” and “Sam and Cat.” She said she was asked to be photographed in a bikini during a wardrobe fitting and pressured to drink alcohol by an intimidating figure called “the Creator.” Additionally, McCurdy noted that her mother didn’t attempt to intervene when the moment happened and allegedly told her, “Everyone wants what you have.”
“My whole childhood and adolescence were very exploited. There were cases where people had the best intentions and maybe didn’t know what they were doing. And also cases where they did — they knew exactly what they were doing.”
She also felt discouraged by Nickelodeon as she wasn’t allowed to explore other ventures that could boost her career but noticed they played favorites toward Ariana Grande. Although “Sam & Cat” lasted for a season, the network offered McCurdy $300,000 to keep quiet about her experience. Towards the end of the show’s season, McCurdy’s mom passed away. She admitted to counting down the days before the show ended.
“I’m starting to expect I’ll have a bulimia-induced heart attack. I’m mortified to admit it, but a part of me actually wishes I would.
The f*ck? Nickelodeon is offering me three hundred thousand dollars in hush money to not talk publicly about my experience on the show? My personal experience of The Creator’s abuse? This is a network with shows made for children. Shouldn’t they have some sort of moral compass? Shouldn’t they at least try to report to some sort of ethical standard?”
Before her Nickelodeon career, McCurdy said she remembers auditioning for shows at the age of 6 and being forced to work by her controlling mother, leading to her suffering from eating disorders, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
“I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t like acting. While I was able to push through the season for the promise of directing, now that that opportunity has been taken away from me, I feel that all I’ve ever been and all I ever will be is an actor. A has-been actor, because who’s gonna wanna hire me when I’ve spent almost ten years on Nickelodeon? How will I ever get a “real” acting job, anything out of this phony, bizarre sphere? I never went to college and have no real-life skills, so even if wanted to get a profession outside of the entertainment industry, I’m years away from that being a realistic option.”
McCurdy revealed the Creator had several issues with the network due to his “emotional abuse” and said it should’ve happened sooner.
“I appreciate the amount of trouble he’s gotten in. It wasn’t just a slap on the wrist sort of thing. It’s to the point where he’s no longer allowed to be on set with any actors, which makes communication in between takes complicated.”