Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.
Jennette McCurdy was a mainstay for years as character Sam Puckett on Nickelodeon’s “iCarly.” But in a new memoir, she alleged her time at the network was far from the happy, free-spirited character she portrayed on the screen.
Vanity Fair published an excerpt in August of McCurdy’s new memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died.” In it, McCurdy detailed the treatment she was allegedly subject to while working on the show.
At the beginning of the excerpt, McCurdy described a dinner she had with “The Creator,” an anonymous character in the memoir.
McCurdy wrote that “The Creator” pressured her to consume alcohol, which she initially refused.
“I’ve never had alcohol before,” McCurdy said in the excerpt. “And I’m only eighteen. Couldn’t I get in trouble?”
“The Creator” told her the stars of “Victorious,” another popular show on Nickelodeon, got “drunk together all the time,” McCurdy wrote.
“The iCarly kids are so wholesome,” he said, according to the excerpt. “We need to give you guys a little edge.”
McCurdy wrote that she eventually took a sip of alcohol, and she told “The Creator” she enjoyed it. After he pressured her further, she admitted she did not like the taste of the drink.
“The Creator laughs,” McCurdy wrote. “I’ve done well. I’ve pleased him. Mission accomplished. It’s the same mission I have every time I get dinner with him, which has gotten more and more frequent lately as my new contract for the spin-off he promised me is being worked out.
“The Creator is doing the thing that I’ve heard from my co-stars he does with every new star of a show that he’s making — he takes you under his wing. You’re his favorite. For now. I like being his favorite for now. I feel like I’m doing something right.”
McCurdy said this uncomfortable dinner was just one of many questionable interactions she had with “The Creator,” interactions that crossed from ugly into creepy, into abusive.
In another scene she described, “The Creator” put his hand on her knee at dinner, then said he thought she was cold.
He draped his jacket around her, then patted her shoulders, then began to massage her.
“My shoulders do have a lot of knots in them, but I don’t want The Creator to be the one rubbing them out,” McCurdy wrote. “I want to say something, to tell him to stop, but I’m so scared of offending him.”
Eventually, she wrote, Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 when it canceled “Sam & Cat,” if she would promise not to talk about her experiences at Nickelodeon.
“What the f***?” McCurdy wrote, describing her thoughts at the time. (She didn’t use asterisks.) “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?”
McCurdy wrote that she ultimately decided not to take the money, but that did not erase her experiences.
While “The Creator” is never named in the book, Yahoo! Entertainment reported that producer Dan Schneider was the creator of “iCarly.” ViacomCBS launched an investigation into his behavior before he left the network in 2018, according to a July report in Deadline.
She also described an incident from the show “Sam & Cat,” the “iCarly” spinoff show featuring her “iCarly” character and actress/singer Ariana Grande as the Cat Valentine character from “Victorious,” Yahoo! Entertainment reported.
McCurdy alleged Grande was allowed to pursue other career opportunities during the show, but she was not.
“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’s house,” McCurdy wrote. “That was the moment I broke.”
On top of her issues at the network, McCurdy wrote that her home life was incredibly challenging.
According to Yahoo! Entertainment, she described to her mother that she was embarrassed by being pictured in a bikini during a wardrobe fitting.
Her mother reportedly told her to ignore her issues at the network because “everyone wants what you have.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.