Actress Jennette McCurdy, who played Sam Puckett on the popular Nickelodeon sitcom iCarly, claims she was offered $300,000 of what she calls “hush money” from the network.
McCurdy was on iCarly for five years and won four Kids’ Choice Awards for the role, and then reprized the character in a spin-off show with Ariana Grande for one season in 2013.
Both shows were produced by Dan Schneider — who was described by the New York Times as having “reigned” over children’s TV before his “abrupt” departure in 2018. Grande co-starred on the sitcom Victorious before joining the spin-off with McCurdy, which was also produced by Schneider.
For years, allegations have been made against Schneider regarding his behavior on set and his interactions with the child stars he worked with. An investigation by the New York Times found “allegations that he could be verbally abusive at times,” that he apparently asked for “shoulder and neck massages” and that he had a “habit of texting child actors outside of work hours.”
McCurdy’s new memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, which is set to come out on Aug. 9, has caused the allegations to resurface — especially after an excerpt of her book was published in Vanity Fair that referenced an inappropriate dinner with someone called The Creator. People on Twitter have assumed that The Creator is Schneider, especially since the story includes a moment where he rubs McCurdy’s shoulders.
The story also claims that The Creator encouraged a then 18-year-old McCurdy to drink alcohol with him.
“I could give a new show to anyone, you know,” The Creator tells McCurdy in the story. “But I didn’t choose anyone. I chose you.”
Later in the excerpt, McCurdy describes being “unable to hide my glee” when she learns the show is canceled after one season. Then, one of her agents purportedly tells her that Nickelodeon wants to offer her a “thank you gift” of $300,000.
“This isn’t free money. This feels to me like hush money,” she claims she said in response.
After turning it down, she reflects: “What the f***? 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?”
“My whole childhood and adolescence were very exploited,” McCurdy told the New York Times in a recent interview.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, call The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-662-4357 for resources, or find a treatment option near you through The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers directory. Visit the American Addiction Centers website to learn more about the possible signs of substance use disorder.
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