If you were born in the late ’90s/early ’00s, chances are you — like me — have an almost feral protective urge when it comes to iCarly star Jenette McCurdy (AKA Sam Puckett) because of the trauma she experienced as a child star. Now she’s opened up about what it was like sharing a TV show with Ariana Grande and it’s a whole lotta “yikes”.
Ariana Grande played the loveable and ditzy Cat on Victorious, and the two co-starred in a spin-off sitcom about their respective characters called Sam & Cat.
In her bombshell new memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died, McCurdy said she was so “jealous” of Grande during their time on set together that it “broke” her.
According to McCurdy, Grande was allowed to “regularly” ditch filming for their show so she could work on her music career, specifically to “sing at award shows, record new songs, and do press for her upcoming album.” She was just written out of episodes to explain her absence and everything was cool.
On the other hand, McCurdy felt like she was treated differently. She claimed she had to “turn down” two feature films because iCarly producers refused to write her out of any episodes. Yet there was a point where Grande would be gone a week at a time.
“The week where I was told Ariana would not be here at all, and that they would write around her absence this episode by having her character be locked in a box. Are you. Kidding me,” she recalled, per Entertainment Online.
“So I have to turn down movies while Ariana’s off whistle-toning at the Billboard Music Awards? Fuck. This.”
Now’s probably a good time to mention Jennette McCurdy also previously accused Nickelodeon of paying Ariana Grande more than her, which Grande denied.
Nickelodeon offered Jennette McCurdy $300,000 if she agreed to never speak publicly about her experiences at the network, which she refused, her new memoir reveals. pic.twitter.com/EviJ7u0kVW
— Pop Base (@PopBase) August 5, 2022
McCurdy said she came to “resent being a good sport” because if she hadn’t been so chill about Grande leaving all the time, she probably wouldn’t have been so sidelined. To cope, she would fantasise about what it would be like if she was the one making it out there, not stuck on this “shitty show saying these shitty lines on this shitty set with this shitty hairstyle.”
“But it’s not different. It’s this,” McCurdy wrote.
“This is what it is. Ariana misses work in pursuit of her music career while I act with a box. I’m pissed about it. And I’m pissed at her. Jealous of her.”
McCurdy wrote about being jealous of Grande’s freedom, her career, her fame, her success — even her “much easier upbringing”. She couldn’t stop comparing herself to Grande, and her frustrations were in part fuelled by all the other happenings in her life around her mother’s abuse and the eating disorders she was suffering from.
“Ariana is at the stage in her career where she’s popping up on every 30 Under 30 list that exists. And I’m at the stage in my career where my team is excited that I’m the new face of Rebecca Bonbon, a tween clothing line featuring a cat with her tongue sticking out. Sold exclusively at Walmart,” she said.
“And I frequently make the mistake of comparing my career to Ariana’s. I can’t help it. I’m constantly in the same environment as her, and she doesn’t exactly try to hide her successes.”
Jennette McCurdy does a good job talking ab her resentment towards Ariana Grande in her book, without vilifying AG.
Jennette had not processed many things – her anger, mother’s abuse, horrible relationships, ED & more.
It was a case of wrong person, wrong time, wrong place pic.twitter.com/HEDmtoRwAr
— Illuminari (@ForGoodAri) August 9, 2022
The resented burned even hotter because McCurdy was apparently under the impression she would get her own show, not Sam & Cat which she called “some half-baked two-hander”.
“When I initially got a development deal with Nickelodeon for my own show a few years ago, I thought it was gonna be just that… my own show,” McCurdy wrote.
“This was supposed to be Just Puckett, the harrowing tale of a brassy juvenile delinquent-turned-school counselor. Now it’s some half-baked two-hander — Sam & Cat — about a brassy juvenile delinquent who, with her ‘ditzy best friend,’ starts a babysitting company called ‘Sam & Cat’s Super Rockin’ Fun-Time Babysitting Service.’
“This is not harrowing.”
Grande then disappeared one night to hang out at Tom Hank‘s place, and this was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for McCurdy.
“From that moment on, I didn’t like her. I couldn’t like her,” she wrote.
“Pop star success I could handle, but hanging out with Sheriff Woody, with Forrest Fucking Gump? This has gone too far.
“So now, every time she misses work, it feels like a personal attack. Every time something exciting happens to her, I feel like she robbed me of having that experience myself.”
Jennette McCurdy reveals in new memoir that during her Nickelodeon days she was photographed in a bikini at a wardrobe fitting and encouraged to drink alcohol by an intimidating figure who she calls ‘the Creator.’ pic.twitter.com/fTOoRsQL9W
— Pop Base (@PopBase) August 5, 2022
It’s important to note here that these snippets aren’t intended as attacks on Ariana Grande — they’re a description of the deep insecurities and mess of emotions McCurdy was experiencing at the time.
Jennette McCurdy’s book explores her traumatic time as a child star, the abusive she experienced at the hands of an unnamed figure at Nickelodeon, and the suffering she experienced because of her abusive mother.
And, perhaps more importantly, it’s about how she overcame that — and who she is today.
I’m Glad My Mom Died released in the US on August 9, and you can grab the audiobook here. The hardcover will release in Australia on September 15.