In her tell-all memoir, Jennette McCurdy recalled exploitation and abuse during her years of Nickelodeon stardom.
Much of the abuse came from her now deceased mother. But there were chilling interactions with iCarly‘s creator.
In her book, Jennette described a massive six-figure offer from Nickelodeon … in exchange for her silence.
She declined. Now, she is opening up about why she knew that she couldn’t take the bribe.
Jennette McCurdy gave an interview on a recent episode of Anna Faris’ Unqualified podcast.
She described the $300k offer from Nickelodeon as “hush money.”
“I approach it from my personal point of view,” Jennette began.
Jennette pointed out “that I was 21 and coming from a place of self-righteousness.”
Of course, that does not mean that she did not have second thoughts.
“Then immediately after the decision, I thought ‘That’s a lot of money.'” It was arguably even more money 9 years ago.
At 21, now-30-year-old Jennette reflected: “‘I could put my nieces through college.'”
“Now,” she continued, “I think those kinds of things.”
Even so, she affirmed that she is proud that she “chose the path of integrity.”
Jennette shared that she has “cried with pride” at making that difficult choice.
Nickelodeon may have presented it as a parting gift of appreciation for her years of stardom, both on iCarly and on Sam & Cat.
However, she felt that it was a bribe to buy her silence. We hope that her book sales outstrip that once-tempting offer.
Actually, that seems pretty much guaranteed. The book sold out of physical copies withing 24 hours.
It became a New York Times Bestseller (#1) almost immediately. Within the first week, the book sold over 200,000 copies.
The cheapest copy is about $15. Now, we’re no big-city mathematicians, but 15 times 200k is a good deal more than 300k.
In the early years after Jennette departed Nickelodeon without looking back, most of the conversation surrounded Ariana Grande.
Ariana was just beginning to launch her spectacular music career. Rumors often suggest that women who are costars will loathe each other.
In this case, however, there was genuine dislike, albeit one-sided. Jennette felt used and betrayed.
There was a personality clash with Ariana. She also felt resentment towards her.
Sam & Cat may have been a joy to watch for many of us, but Jennette was not proud of it.
In fact, she felt embarrassed by her Nickelodeon career during much of her teens.
Jennette did not return to reprise her role as Samantha Puckett on Paramount Plus’ iCarly revival.
In-universe, the characters explained her absence — “Sam” had joined a motorcycle gang. This is very in-character.
Behind the scenes, though the cast was supportive, there was more than feelings of cringe behind Jennette’s decision.
Simply put, she did not like “The Creator.” In the book, she refers to him only as this. Most assume that she means Dan Schneider.
As the creator of iCarly, Victorious, Sam & Cat, and more, he developed a reputation as an entertainer who could entertain the target audience and adults with the same programming.
But Jennette’s memoir described harrowing incidents, from unwanted massages to offers of alcohol when she was only 18.
There are ugly rumors about Schneider. But the primary antagonist of Jennette’s life story is her late mother, Debra.
Jennette has written about the emotional and mental abuse. She has also opened up about sexual abuse that lasted until she was 17.
We wish Jennette happiness and success. It sounds like she doesn’t need any help with the second part.