iCarly star Jennette McCurdy has opened up about a moment that happened on set with Ariana Grande and why it’ll stick with her for life.
TW: mentions abuse.
Jennette McCurdy, who is famously known for playing Sam in the hit Nickelodeon series iCarly, has opened up about her experiences as a child actor and how she suffered at the hands of her controlling mother and abusive producers.
McCurdy has gone into detail about the goings on in her recent memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, which is out soon. In her book, she shares devastating moments in her life where her mom forced her to carry on in the acting industry as a teen, despite her not wanting to.
She revealed that when she got the call back for iCarly aged fourteen: “I jump into Mom’s arms. She squeezes me. I’m elated. Everything’s going to be different now. Everything’s going to be better. Mom will finally be happy. Her dream has come true.”
However, that was only the start of years of abuse at the hands of those she worked for. According to the New York Times, McCurdy wrote that one of the most unsettling moments she can remember was the time she was photographed wearing a bikini during a fitting, sharing that someone she calls “the Creator” offered her alcohol.
And after confiding in her mom about the situation, she brushed it off, allegedly telling her: “Everyone wants what you have,” and that it’s just something that happens in Hollywood.
After her time on iCarly came to an end, she was offered the same role in Sam & Cat, alongside Ariana Grande. And it was during this time she started noticing double standards between her and her co-stars. Particularly that she wasn’t allowed the same kind of freedom to audition for other roles as those she worked with.
“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. That was the moment I broke,” she recalled.
Finally, after Sam & Cat came to an end after just 1 season, McCurdy admitted she was offered $300,000 from Nickelodeon as a bribe to keep quiet about everything that happened while she was working there.
“My whole childhood and adolescence were very exploited,” she told the New York Times.
“It still gives my nervous system a reaction to say it. 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.”