Jennette McCurdy Calls Out Nickelodeon’s Double Standard for Her and ‘Sam & Cat’ Costar Ariana Grande: ‘That Was the Moment I Broke’

Reflecting on her part. Jennette McCurdy addresses her personal and professional life in her upcoming memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died — which includes her tumultuous time on Nickelodeon.

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The former actress, 30, rose to fame playing Sam Puckett on iCarly from 2007 to 2012. After the show ended, McCurdy reprised her role in the network’s spinoff series Sam & Cat. The series, which ran from 2013 to 2014, also starred Ariana Grande in her Victorious role as Cat Valentine.

Jennette McCurdy Calls Out Nickelodeon's Double Standard for Her and 'Sam & Cat' Costar Ariana Grande: 'That Was the Moment I Broke'
Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande. Shutterstock (2)

In an excerpt from her book, which was first posted via The New York Times, McCurdy claimed that she was treated differently by Nickelodeon compared to her costar, 29.

According to the California native, the network prevented her from exploring other career opportunities during her time on Sam & Cat — which didn’t apply to Grande. “What finally undid me was when Ariana came whistle-toning in with excitement because she had spent the previous evening playing charades at Tom Hanks’s house,” McCurdy recalled. “That was the moment I broke.”

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The Zoey 101 alum also alleged that after the show was canceled, she rejected a $300,000 offer to not publicly discuss her time at Nickelodeon. McCurdy went on to score a starring role in Netflix’s short-lived series Between before choosing to walk away from the industry.

Jennette McCurdy Calls Out Nickelodeon's Double Standard for Her and 'Sam & Cat' Costar Ariana Grande: 'That Was the Moment I Broke'
Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande. Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

The former singer previously opened up about her decision to move on from acting. “I quit a few years ago because I initially didn’t want to do it,” she explained during an episode of her “Empty Inside” podcast in March 2021. “I’m so ashamed of the parts I’ve done in the past. … I resent my career in a lot of ways. I feel so unfulfilled by the roles that I played and felt like it was the most cheesy, embarrassing [thing].”

McCurdy continued: “I did the shows that I was on from like 13 to 21, and by 15, I was already embarrassed. My friends at 15 weren’t like ‘Oh, cool, you’re on this Nickelodeon show.’ It was embarrassing. I imagine there’s a very different experience to be had with acting if you’re proud of your roles.”

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At the time, the podcast host detailed how she started to audition for roles because of her mother, Debra McCurdy. Following Debra’s death in 2013, Jennette decided to ultimately quit acting. “With her death kind of died a lot of ideas for my life, and that was its own journey — and a difficult one for sure,” she admitted.

In another excerpt from I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette revealed that she isn’t ruling out a return. “I have people around me now that are so supportive and so loving,” she wrote. “It makes me tearful with joy. I feel so safe. I feel so much trust and so much openness.”

I’m Glad My Mom Died is available on Tuesday, August 9.

Nickelodeon did not immediately respond to Us Weekly‘s request for comment.

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