Former child actress and iCarly and Sam & Cat alum Jennette McCurdy is getting ready to share her story with the world in her upcoming memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died. Fans are likely already braced for what they know will be a tough read.
McCurdy, who has been open about her fraught relationship with her late mother in the past, recently told The New York Times through tears that during her time as a Nickelodeon star, “My whole childhood and adolescence were very exploited. It still gives my nervous system a reaction to say it.”
Her memoir recounts traumas that her friend, comedian Jerrod Carmichael, says “usually crushes a person.” She outlines her relationship with her mother, explores the roots of her eating disorder, and describes the allegedly inappropriate experiences she had on set with an ominous figure called “The Creator.”
“There were cases where people had the best intentions and maybe didn’t know what they were doing,” McCurdy told the Times. “And also cases where they did—they knew exactly what they were doing.”
As McCurdy’s words make the rounds on social media, another name has begun trending: Dan Schneider, the prolific Nickelodeon producer behind hits like iCarly and Sam & Cat, both of which starred McCurdy, as well as Zoey 101, Victorious, and The Amanda Show.
Schneider’s abrupt exit from Nickelodeon raised eyebrows in 2018. At the time, Deadline reported that members of Schneider’s staff had filed multiple complaints of abusive behavior against him. Causes for concern reportedly included Schneider’s “well documented temper” and his previous tweets containing photos of young female actors’ toes. Other issues, including “bloated” budgets and grueling production hours, as well as Schneider’s reluctance to share production and office space with shows outside his own shingle, were also listed as contributing factors.
Nickelodeon, for their part, kept their statement vague: “Following many conversations together about next directions and future opportunities, Nickelodeon and our long-time creative partner Dan Schneider/Schneider’s Bakery have agreed to not extend the current deal,” the statement read, in part. The network thanked Schneider for his “immeasurable contributions to Nickelodeon.”
A recently released excerpt of McCurdy’s book explores the child star’s toxic relationship with “The Creator.”
“The Creator is doing the thing that I’ve heard from my co-stars he does with every new star of a show that he’s making—he takes you under his wing. You’re his favorite.”
In a portion of the memoir published by Vanity Fair, McCurdy describes “The Creator’s” alleged inappropriate behavior, including massaging her at work, photographing her in a bikini, and pressuring her to drink while underage. As she describes being offered the alcohol, McCurdy writes, “The Creator is doing the thing that I’ve heard from my co-stars he does with every new star of a show that he’s making—he takes you under his wing. You’re his favorite.”
McCurdy also alleges that she turned down a $300,000 offer from Nickelodeon that would have prevented her from speaking about her experiences with the network. (“Specifically related to ‘The Creator.’”)
“What the fuck?” McCurdy writes. “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? 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?”
Vanity Fair reached out to the network for comment and does not appear to have heard back. The Daily Beast also requested comment from Schneider.
Schneider won Nickelodeon’s first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 and has overseen 10 hit shows for the network stretching back to All That, which premiered in 1994 and introduced Schneider to Amanda Bynes—who would later star in his mega-hit, The Amanda Show, which begat Drake & Josh.
Last June, an iCarly reboot premiered on Paramount+ without Schneider’s participation. Weeks later, Schneider finally addressed the allegations—but declined to comment on the network’s investigation—as he began fishing for a comeback in an interview with The New York Times.
Schneider denied ever having behaved inappropriately with anyone at work and said he did not leave Nick on bad terms; instead, he attributed his departure to a period of exhaustion. He called the online discussion surrounding his shows’ use of feet “ridiculous” and added, “The comedy was totally innocent.”
ViacomCBS’s 2018 investigation found no evidence of sexual misconduct on Schneider’s part, the Times reported, but determined he could be verbally abusive with coworkers.