The Dark Side Of Hollywood

Resurfaced 'Sam & Cat' Footage Of Young Ariana Grande Being Sexualized Has Fans Horrified

Jennette McCurdy’s new memoir details uncomfortable moments with the show’s creator, who left Nickelodeon in 2018 after verbal abuse claims.

Jennette McCurdy & Ariana Grande during their 'Sam & Cat' heyday. McCurdy's new memoir recalls some ...
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Jennette McCurdy’s shocking new memoir of her life as a child star has fans recalling some wildly uncomfortable scenes that sexualized and infantilized McCurdy and her Sam & Cat co-star Ariana Grande while they worked at Nickelodeon.

McCurdy’s memoir, titled I’m Glad My Mom Died, details her complicated relationship with her late mother Debra McCurdy, who passed away in 2013. She goes into some detail about how her and Grande’s relationship was sometimes rocky, but that was mostly due to the fact that McCurdy was not being paid as much as Grande or given as much freedom to pursue other projects as her co-star. Her memoir also details situations of “The Creator,” which many presume to be Sam & Cat show-runner Dan Schneider.

Schneider, who also created hits like iCarly, All That, and The Amanda Show, has been repeatedly accused of being verbally abusive to coworkers. Fans of the show have also pieced together compilations of photos of Schneider with the teen stars of his series showing off their bare feet. Others add that the some of the shows’ jokes, ostensibly forms of harmless slapstick, are loaded with inappropriate innuendo.

The replies to the montage were full of disgust. “This is absolutely disgusting. As an adult watching this right now you can tell EXACTLY what they were doing,” said one.

In the memoir, McCurdy chronicles one particular instance where the Creator offered her an alcoholic beverage, despite being underage at the time so she would feel more comfortable. Her mother did not intervene.

“Come on,” he allegedly insisted after repeatedly offering a drink, to which McCurdy responded: “I’ve never had alcohol before. And I’m only eighteen. Couldn’t I get in trouble?”

“‘No one’s looking, Jennette. You’re fine,’” she recalled him telling her. “‘The Victorious kids get drunk together all the time. The iCarly kids are so wholesome. We need to give you guys a little edge.’”

Twitter user VERONASFILMS, who posted the first compilation of awkward footage, also noted that Schneider wrote all of the segments for The Slap, which was Grande’s character’s online blog that featured a lot of questionable content, like when she tries to juice a potato and moans while doing so, or how she attempts to be a “teen girl drinking water upside down” and giggles as it spills all over her neck and face.

Schneider departed from Nickelodeon in 2018, and three years later, The New York Times reported that the kids’ network cut ties with the creative force behind so many of its hits due to evidence of verbal abuse towards his colleagues. Schneider denied the allegations that he was sexualizing his young stars, saying that the claims were “ridiculous” and repeatedly insisted that “the comedy was totally innocent.” McCurdy’s memoir and the fact that Grande doesn’t talk about her Nickelodeon days suggest otherwise.