One-time Nickelodeon star, Jennette McCurdy‘s new book I’m Glad My Mom Died, is now out, and all the tea from her days as a potential victim of alleged child predators has been spilled. We know from her book that she turned down $300,000 in hush money to keep quiet about her experiences working with someone she refers to as “The Creator”– which is most likely Dan Schnieder who left the show during #MeToo. In her book, Jennette also writes about her “rivalry” with her Sam & Cat co-star Ariana Grande. But it seems like it had less to do with Ariana herself and more with the higher-ups on the show. Since Ariana was on a superstar trajectory during their time working together and was allowed to regularly skip filming, Jennette ended up picking up a lot of Ari’s slack. And in her memoir, Jennette reveals that when she was younger she was definitely not an Arianator.
Jennette starred with Ariana in Nickelodeon’s Sam & Cat, a spin-off show starring Jennette’s character from iCarly and Ariana’s character from Victorious. Jennette may have played Sam and had her name come first in the show title, but homegirl was clearly playing second fiddle to Ariana’s whistle-singing ass. The show only lasted one year from 2013 to 2014, but during filming, Jennette noticed a lot of favoritism shoved Ariana’s way. Jennette writes that she had to pass on two movies because producers wouldn’t give her time off from Sam & Cat. Meanwhile, Ariana would regularly miss work for award shows and performances, and one time they even wrote that her character, Cat, was trapped in a box for a whole episode so she could miss a week of filming, via Entertainment Tonight:
In her memoir, McCurdy refers to Grande as “a burgeoning pop star” who “regularly” missed filming “to go sing at award shows, record new songs, and do press for her upcoming album,” all while McCurdy had to “angrily hold down the fort.”
While McCurdy writes that she does “understand” why Grande missed work, she didn’t get why the singer was “allowed to,” largely because, McCurdy claims, she was not afforded the same luxury.
“I booked two features during iCarly that I had to turn down because the iCarly team wouldn’t write me out of episodes to go shoot them,” McCurdy claims of the first Nickelodeon series she appeared on…
“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,” McCurdy writes. “So I have to turn down movies while Ariana’s off whistle-toning at the Billboard Music Awards? Fuck. This.”
Trapped in a box?! How very “special episode of Punky Brewster.” Jennette goes on to say that she resented being a “good sport:”
“If I wasn’t such a good sport to begin with, I wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place. I wouldn’t be on this shitty show saying these shitty lines on this shitty set with this shitty hairstyle,” she writes. “Maybe my life would be entirely different right now. I fantasize about it being different. But it’s not different. It’s this. 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.”
Jennette became jealous of Ariana for lots of things, considering her upbringing as much easier than her own, as Jennette dealt with her stage mom who was also suffering from cancer. Jennette also writes in her memoir that Nickelodeon promised her a solo show of her own but then made it a joint show co-starring Ariana.
“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.”
The moment that broke Jennette was when “Ariana came whistle-toning in with excitement because she spent the previous evening playing charades at Tom Hanks’ house.” Jennette really did not handle that moment well and it cemented Ariana as her nemesis:
“I couldn’t take it anymore. Music performances and magazine covers… whatever, I’ll get over it. But playing a family game at National Treasure, two-time Academy Award–winner and six-time nominee Tom Hanks’s house? I’m done.”
From that moment on, McCurdy writes, “I didn’t like her. I couldn’t like her.”
“Pop star success I could handle, but hanging out with Sheriff Woody, with Forrest Fucking Gump? This has gone too far,” she writes. “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.”
Well, Jennette should consider herself lucky in this case. If she went on to be a pop superstar, she could have been the one who almost got married to Pete Davidson. It’s not all high ponytails and award shows on the other side!