We have known for a while that Hollywood is a nest of vipers. They give Roman Polanski a standing ovation, turn a blind eye to the casting couch for decades and protected Harvey Weinstein until it became politically expedient to do throw him under the bus. They promoted Joss Whedon, then they shut down Corey Feldman when he tried to warn people about Hollywood’s rampant child abuse.
Despite their best efforts to keep a lid on all of this, tales of horror keep slipping out. Children’s television seems to be ripe for a certain kind of misconduct and now former Nickelodeon actress Jennette McCurdy has dropped a bomb in her memoirs.
A regular on the channel via roles such in iCarly and Sam And The Cat made the allegations in the curiously titled book I’m Glad My Mom Died.
She goes on to allege that studio executives offered her $300k to remain quiet. McCurdy does not mention her alleged abuser by name, instead choosing to refer to him only as “The Creator.”
“My shoulders do have a lot of knots in them, but I don’t want The Creator to be the one rubbing them out. I want to say something, to tell him to stop, but I’m so scared of offending him.”
McCurdy states the $300k offer from Nickelodeon was billed as a gift but the only stipulation was that she was never to talk publicly about her experience at Nickelodeon.
“What the f***? Nickelodeon is offering me $300,000 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?”
McCurdy never mentions her abuser by name.
In the past there was speculation around Dan Schneider, creator and executive producer of both Sam & Cat as well as iCarly. This was due to videos appearing on the internet from during McCurdy’s time on iCarly that some speculated showed Schneider harassing McCurdy. These videos were up on Schneider’s own social media.
Schneider had been with Nickelodeon since the 1980s but was frequently dogged by rumors involving teens who worked on his shows. In 2018, directly after the Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo movement, Nickelodeon quietly ended their 25 year partnership with Schneider that included Zoey 101, Victorious, All That, and The Amanda Show.
Nickelodeon has faced other related crises in this area. Actor Brian Peck (All That and The Amanda Show) was locked up for 16 months on two counts of sexually abusing a Nickelodeon child actor.
A former Nickelodeon production assistant, Jason Michael Handy, was exposed by the Los Angeles Times and charged with pedophilia and lewd acts on children.
No actor on any shows has named Schneider directly. ViacomCBS internal investigations confirmed that Schneider was verbally abusive in the workplace but stopped short of proving any sexual misconduct allegations.
Some 2019 online research did allege that Schneider had deleted around 15,000 tweets including references to teenage stars on his show that had the themes “child,” “foot,” and “toes.” running though them.
Hollywood, meanwhile, continues to lecture.