In her new memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette McCurdy describes predatory treatment she experienced as a teenager from an unnamed figure involved with iCarly and Victorious she only refers to as “The Creator.” McCurdy starred as Sam on iCarly from 2007 to 2012.
The period McCurdy references in the book comes to a head when she was filming her short-lived spinoff show Sam & Cat, where she starred opposite Victorious sidekick Ariana Grande. McCurdy alleges, among other things, feeling pressured to drink alcohol while onset when she was underage. McCurdy claims that when she expressed hesitance at drinking a coffee drink with whiskey and cream, The Creator told her: “The Victorious kids get drunk together all the time. The iCarly kids are so wholesome. We need to give you guys a little edge.”
“The Creator always compares us iCarly kids to the kids on his other hit show, Victorious. I think he thinks it’ll make us try harder,” McCurdy writes.
Additionally troubling, McCurdy describes being touched by The Creator in ways that made her feel uncomfortable while meeting in professional settings, an occurrence McCurdy says became more frequent once she began work on Sam & Cat. The series ran for two seasons from 2013 to 2014.
“My shoulders do have a lot of knots in them, but I don’t want The Creator to be the one rubbing them out. I want to say something, to tell him to stop, but I’m so scared of offending him,” McCurdy writes in an excerpt from the memoir obtained by Vanity Fair where she recalls one meeting with The Creator. “’Oh, right,” he says, remembering his train of thought without my help. ‘Every kid out there would kill for an opportunity like the one you’ve got. You’re very lucky, Jennetter.’”
At the time she alleges the “emotional abuse” from The Creator, McCurdy also describes feeling completely unmoored in her life and career, drinking heavily and fearing she’d die from a bulimia-induced heart attack.
“I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t like acting,” McCurdy writes. “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?”
McCurdy alleges being told by her agents that after the cancellation of Sam & Cat spinoff, she would be paid $300 thousand dollars if she agreed to “never talk publicly about your experience at Nickelodeon.”
“What the fuck? 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?” McCurdy recalls thinking after ending the phone call with her managers, agents, and attorneys. “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?”