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Trend: Jennette McCurdy’s memoir revives conversations about horror in the children’s entertainment industry

McCurdy’s memoir reveals the trauma she endured as a child star on Nickelodeon and resurrected discourse around child abuse in the acting industry.

Shafna Mackenzie | | 58 minutes ago


Jennette McCurdy’s memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, released on August 9, hit bookstore bestseller tables. A pink vase with a pink and yellow cover and a photo of former iCarly star Jennette McCurdy. The title of the memoir may seem like just shocking tactics, but the title points to a fundamental truth. The death of her mother, Debra McCurdy, brought peace to Jennette McCurdy. In writing this book, she said she achieved the catharsis possible without her mother. McCurdy was finally free to admit it. Through her writing, she probably feels power for the first time in her life. ”

“I’m Glad Your Mom Died” tackles difficult themes, not just eating disorders, but physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. This memoir comes at a time when the #MeToo movement is encouraging women to share their stories to combat harassment. What’s more, fans of McCurdy’s older work since childhood are mature enough to tackle these difficult topics. It was revived and set the stage for other child stars to come forward.

The allegations against Nickelodeon predate McCurdy’s 2022 memoir. Nickelodeon’s history of inaction seems to have started with another former child Nickelodeon star of the 1990s, Angelic Bates, who starred in “All That” from 1992 until his 1996 regular as his series regular. Bates has shared her experience ever since. In it, she detailed the abuse by her mother on set. . . [Child Protective Services] was called. Many, including Tysha Hampton, the ex-wife of former Nickelodeon star Kel Mitchells, and McCurdy in her memoir, allege alcohol was served to young actors on the set of “All That.” ing.

Mainstream media coverage of the memoir has reinvigorated the debate about unsafe work environments for child stars, with Nickelodeon as a prime example of an unsafe place for young actors. It showcases some of the ways that, combined with the abuse of power by adults in the industry, often create lasting psychological scars. No one intervened, even though Jennette struggled with anorexia and bulimia.

McCurdy mostly focuses on who she simply refers to as “The Creator,” but some readers are “Zoey 101,” “Victorious,” and of course, “iCarly.” McCurdy’s memoir finally reveals the dark reality of securing his show, a spin-off from The Creator, to the selfish and manipulative Schneider, while subtly pitting the actors against each other, to make his child’s career a success. He is portrayed as a constant admiration for his power to make or break.

According to McCurdy, the actor’s career advancement depended on his obedience and respect for Schneider. McCurdy wrote that Schneider felt “nervous, desperate to please, and afraid to step out of line” after promising McCurdy her own spin-off show after iCarly. Her mother encouraged her to wear a mask, never expressing displeasure or dissatisfaction. Even when, per her mother’s instructions, Schneider let her sample alcohol and “caressed” her knees, McCurdy showed no signs of her distress.

McCurdy’s memoir had a huge ripple effect. In August 2022, fellow Nickelodeon star Alexa, who played Nicole Bristow in “Zoe 101,” held a protest outside Nickelodeon headquarters. A video of the protest posted to Instagram reads, “Nickelodeon didn’t protect me.”[Schneider] Played a big role in my personal childhood trauma. When I worked at Nickelodeon, I didn’t feel safe around Dan Schneider. ”

In one chapter of her memoir, McCurdy wrote that she recalled having to endure the discomfort of a bikini photo shoot on the set of “iCarly.” Feeling too skimpy and too libido, she asked her wardrobe designer, “Would you mind trying on a dress and board shorts?” I asked for a bikini,” he replied.

It looks like McCurdy isn’t the only one who feels Schneider’s wardrobe choices are inadequate. Daniela Monet as Trina in Victorious.,She told Business Insider in October 2019 that she felt many of the show’s costumes were “age-appropriate” for her and her fellow actresses, and that she “wouldn’t even be able to wear a part of it as an adult today.” Monet also “wanted certain things… didn’t have to be so sexual,” mostly referring to her character lying on the couch eating and chewing pickles. It is a scene of “Victorious” where lipstick is reapplied in between.

Nickelodeon chose to air it even after Monet expressed his displeasure with the producers about the sexual innuendo of the scene. Widespread, fans of both shows have begun to question some of the blatantly sexual innuendos injected into the episode, seemingly providing further evidence of McCurdy’s perversion and abuse of power. calls in his memoirs.

In 2018, Nickelodeon severed ties with Schneider after an internal investigation into allegations of misconduct on set at Nickelodeon. was found to be verbally abusive to set staff and actors. This is supported by McCurdy’s account. deterioration. ”

Nickelodeon’s Nielsen ratings, which track entertainment engagement, have shown a strong downward trend since at least January 2017, with weekly viewership falling from 1.3 million to 372,000 in 2021. , Schneider is essentially kicked out of the sinking ship. In just four years, he has surpassed 71% of the ratings.

“I’m Glad My Mom Died” reinvigorated discourse around the dangers that exist in the children’s entertainment industry, resulting in the former child actor joining the conversation in solidarity with McCurdy. As the media continues to shine a light on abuse in Hollywood, former child stars and their fans are not only acknowledging the powerhouse producer’s past misconduct, but also taking actionable steps to create a safer environment for young actors. We are demanding greater accountability from studios to take action. and an actress.

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