Jennette McCurdy Felt "Self-Righteous" When She Allegedly Turned Down "Hush Money" From Nickelodeon

In her new book, Jennette McCurdy claimed she turned down $300,000 from Nickelodeon to keep quiet about her alleged negative experience on set of iCarly and Sam & Cat.

By Ashley Joy Parker Aug 30, 2022 2:55 AMTags
Watch: Jennette McCurdy Says She Was "Exploited" on iCarly

Jennette McCurdy is standing her ground.

The former child star touched on her difficult decision to turn down what she described as "hush money" from Nickelodeon following harassment she says she endured from a male boss.

"I approach it from my personal point of view that I was 21 and coming from a place of self-righteousness," she explained on the most recent episode of Anna FarisUnqualified podcast. "Then immediately after the decision I thought, 'That's a lot of money, I could put my nieces through college.' Now I think those kinds of things."

Ultimately, the 30-year-old said she is proud that she "chose the path of integrity," adding she's "cried with pride" of herself.

McCurdy—who starred on the Nickelodeon series iCarly and Sam & Catboth created by Dan Schneider—made the bombshell allegation in her new memoir I'm Glad My Mom Died. Describing a male boss not by name but as simply "The Creator," the now retired actress wrote that the intimidating figure offered her first taste of alcohol when she was only 18 years old, at a private dinner they were having ahead of the launch of Sam & Cat, which also starred Ariana Grande. At this same dinner, McCurdy alleged "The Creator" gave her his coat and massaged her without consent. 

iCarly Stars: Then and Now

"My shoulders do have a lot of knots in them, but I don't want 'The Creator' to be the one rubbing them out," she wrote. "I want to say something, to tell him to stop, but I'm so scared of offending him."

After hearing of the show's cancellation, McCurdy claims that Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 as a thank-you gift with the condition that she never talk publicly about her experiences on the show.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

"What the f--k? Nickelodeon is offering me three hundred thousand dollars in hush money to not talk publicly about my experience on the show?" she wrote in her memoir. "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?"

In a statement provided to E! News from Schneider's team, Russell Hicks, former President of Content and Production at Nickelodeon, said that Schneider "cared about the kids on his shows even when sometimes their own families unfortunately did not. He was the shoulder they cried on when something happened to them. He understood what they were going through. Dan was like the great high school counselor you could always turn to for help and guidance. And he was their biggest champion."


The statement continued, "Nickelodeon's reputation as the best in kids' television required that nothing went on without the company knowing. There is a standards and practices group that reads every script and programming executives looking at every episode. Add to that everyday on every set, were the parents and caregivers and their friends watching every single frame of footage and listening to every joke. They had a billion dollar brand to protect. Every single thing that Dan ever did on any of his shows was carefully scrutinized and approved by executives at Nickelodeon."

When contacted directly for comment, Hicks told E! News, "I think Jeanette's book is really a beautiful tribute to getting the help she needed to get through the trauma she experienced with balancing her family and high pressured work life. Hopefully it'll help others get the help that they need."

Earlier this month, McCurdy described her childhood and adolescence as being "very exploited" to the New York Times. She said that mother Debra McCurdy—who died of cancer in 2013—didn't intervene because she thought it was a part of being an actress

"There were cases where people had the best intentions and maybe didn't know what they were doing," she said on Aug. 4. "And also cases where they did—they knew exactly what they were doing."

In the wake of McCurdy's revelations, Miranda Cosgrove shared that she didn't realize what her iCarly co-star was allegedly going through during their time on the show.

"When you're young, you're so in your own head," Cosgrove told the New York Times. "You can't imagine that people around you are having much harder struggles."

She continued, "You don't expect things like that from the person in the room who's making everyone laugh."

E! News has reached out to Nickelodeon and McCurdy for comment and has not heard back.

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