The imminent release of Jennette McCurdy’s memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died promises a raw, intimate look at her life as a child star, and the picture is not pretty: she was abused for years by her mother, mistreated by “The Creator” (a pseudonym that seems to indicate former Nickelodeon boss Dan Schneider), and lived for years with eating disorders. There’s one lingering issue that’s a lot more mundane: she just doesn’t think iCarly was any good.
“I think the content is embarrassing. I just wish I had never done it,” she tells BuzzFeed News. “I appreciate the financial stability. I’m grateful for the doors that it’s opened for me in so many ways and the friendships that I’ve made. But the content of it just embarrasses me. … The embarrassment piece lingers. I care so much about making good work. It’s that ‘what do I do with this’ shame.”
iCarly was enormously successful with kids, and its popularity endured enough to garner an adult-targeted reboot. McCurdy remains close with the cast (BuzzFeed notes that she spent last Thanksgiving with former co-star Miranda Cosgrove), but she clearly feels she dodged a bullet by opting out. More broadly, she’s grateful to have avoided the trajectory that Nickelodeon put her on: “I would’ve kept doing sitcom after soul-sucking sitcom.”
She expresses hope that today’s child stars aren’t trapped in the same toxic environment she was, saying, “It would be impossible for the cultural temperature to be where it’s at and there not to be some more awareness and attention to the child’s well-being and safety and maybe even happiness. Question mark? Hopefully? I really, really hope so.” Still, it’s a path she doesn’t wish for anyone. “I do hope that if there are parents that are considering putting their kids in acting, I hope if they read the book…they don’t.”