In a Tuesday (Aug 6) interview with the Washington Post on the publication of her book, I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette McCurdy revealed that Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 in “hush money” to keep quiet about publically speaking about her experience with the channel. Read on to learn more about what the 30-year-old filmmaker narrated.
Jennette Feels Anger…
iCarly star Jennette McCurdy opened up about her time working at Nickelodeon through her new memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died. The 30-year-old former actress opened up about her time working as a teen on the set, and how she was “photographed in a bikini at a wardrobe fitting and being encouraged to drink alcohol by an intimidating figure she simply calls the Creator.”
Among many other damning and heartbreaking revelations about what went behind the scenes, she speaks through her new memoir about how the company offered her $300,000 in “hush money” to stay quiet about her abuse under “The Creator”.
Not only this, but an excerpt released by Vanity Fair includes details on the interactions she had with company agents following her spinoff show Sam & Cat’s cancellation and her subsequent departure from Nickelodeon.
McCurdy also recalled The Creator getting “in trouble from the network for accusations of his emotional abuse.” She writes: “I feel like it’s been a long-time coming, and should have happened a lot sooner.” She revealed that he was disciplined to the point where he was “no longer allowed to be on the set with any actors.”
An Abusive Relation With Mother…
If you’re thinking about why she named her memoir “I am Glad My Mom Died”, well, the story is heartbreaking. Jennette said her mother Debra McCurdy, who died of cancer in 2013, was present for instances like this but never bothered to intervene because she thought it was a part of being an actress.
McCurdy previously opened up that she was emotionally and sexually abused by her mother. In an interview, she revealed how her mother’s erratic emotions were like walking a tightrope each day. She pushed McCurdy into acting when she was just 6 years old to both financially support her family and she herself wanted to become a performer.
McCurdy also revealed that her mother was “obsessed with making [her] a star” and detailed how she contributed to her eating disorder by introducing her to calorie counting at age 11. Shockingly, until she was 17 years old, her mother performed vaginal and breast exams on her and never let her shower alone.
McCurdy refused to appear in the revival early because of the reminder of her mother’s abuse on the original show, and that her appearance on “Sam & Cat” was done to please her mother. Well, her mother ate all her money acting as a minor.
Who Is “The Creator”?
While she does not identify that person by name, she stated to the Post that “it’s important to talk about. It was so commonplace, his behaviour, and it was so accepted because everyone was scared of losing their job. I don’t blame any of them. I get it. But it was really unfortunate; everything that happened in a children’s television series environment. It really seems like there’s not much of a moral compass there.”
About “The Creator”, McCurdy alleged that he crossed boundaries by doing things like initiating a shoulder massage and trying to get her to drink alcohol when she was 18. She writes in her memoir how the man was sequestered in a “cave-like room to the side of the sound stage, surrounded by “piles of cold cuts, his favourite snack, and Kids’ Choice Awards blimps, his most cherished life accomplishment.”
In her memoir, McCurdy said that Nickelodeon even offered her a thank-you gift. “They’re giving you $300,000 and the only thing they want you to do is never talk publicly about your experience at Nickelodeon,” one manager told McCurdy, according to the actress.
The filmmaker said that they asked her not to talk about her experiences “specifically related to The Creator” and she turned it down “immediately and instinctively.” “This isn’t free money. This feels to me like hush money,” McCurdy said at the time.
As for the identity of “The Creator”, it is possible that McCurdy is referring to Dan Schneider, the man credited as the creator of “iCarly,” “Sam & Cat,” and various other hit Nickelodeon shows including “The Amanda Show,” “Drake & Josh,” and “Victorious.”
Well, things do connect because McCurdy’s recollections in her book are very much similar to previous accusations made against Dan Schneider. The TV producer departed Nickelodeon in 2018 and it was reported that there were “multiple complaints of abusive behaviour against Schneider filed by members of his staff.”
Schneider defended his behaviour in a 2021 interview with the “New York Times”. The publication, at the time, reported that an investigation was conducted by Nickelodeon’s parent company, ViacomCBS, prior to his exit.
According to the New York Times, there was no evidence of sexual misconduct by the producer, but people who worked with him viewed him as verbally abusive. However, Schneider defended his leadership style, by saying that he has “high standards” and is willing to defend creative things that he believes in.
Regarding allegations of inappropriate interactions with the stars of his shows, Dan told the New York Times previously: “I couldn’t, and I wouldn’t have the long-term friendships and continued loyalty from so many reputable people if I’d mistreated my actors of any age, especially minors.” Representatives for Nickelodeon and Schneider didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.