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The Transition from Sam Puckett to Jennette McCurdy

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Jennette McCurdy is an iconic star from her early years playing Sam Puckett on Nickelodeon’s hit television show, “iCarly.” Growing up, her character was always my favorite, and McCurdy was a role model to me. In recent years, she has begun opening up about her past with Nickelodeon and her childhood in general. Little to my knowledge, McCurdy had an extremely traumatic childhood and was treated poorly by Nickelodeon. She expands on many of her experiences in her new hit memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died.”  

In her memoir she touches on a multitude of her different experiences throughout her childhood, one of them being her time on iCarly in reference to her relationship with Dan Schnieder. Schnieder was the creator of the extremely popular television show, but he himself is nothing close to a popular figure. McCurdy has spoken up during many interviews and has written extensively in her memoir about the extent of the abuse she received from Schnieder, or as she refers to him, “The Creator.” McCurdy has made claims against Schnieder, stating that he had taken pictures of her feet, taken pictures of her in bikinis, massaged her in the workplace, and pressured her to drink alcohol while underage. Apparently, this is not uncommon in the world of Nickelodeon, as Schneider has done similar actions with other child actors. It has been said that he tells the stars that he is “taking them under his wing” and that they are “his favorite.” After McCurdy decided to share her experiences with the world, the Nickelodeon network offered her hundreds of thousands of dollars to stay quiet about her experiences. Of course, she declined that offer and decided to continue speaking her truth with the world. In addition, Schnieder stayed quiet in terms of the accusations for quite some time. When he finally decided to speak on it, he denied everything and stated that McCurdy was spreading lies about him. Unfortunately, there is no set evidence proving that McCurdy’s statements are true, but it was proven that he was verbally abusive to the stars. 

In reference to McCurdy’s mother, that is a whole other ball game. McCurdy grew up in a low-income Mormon family. Her mother was a hoarder and would force her and her three brothers to sleep on floor mats rather than on beds every night. She also forced McCurdy into acting, which is something that she never wanted to do or felt passionate about in any sense. Her mother would also control all of her actions in general; she would dress her and bathe her until the age of 16. McCurdy also developed an eating disorder, bulimia, as a result of her mother being afraid that she wouldn’t be able to book roles anymore if she didn’t look childlike. At the time, McCurdy believed that her mother knew best and that all of these actions were normal, but as she got older, she realized that was far from the truth. 

Jennette McCurdy has always been a star that I admired, especially in her role in “iCarly.” I am so happy that she is finally coming out to the world and sharing her true story, regardless of how hard that may be. Having her share her personal story has made me feel less alone in what I go through, and for that, I thank her immensely. 

Jennette McCurdy is coming to VCU on Nov. 29, and tickets are free on RamsConnect for students! Thank you for everything, Jennette; we cannot wait to have you on our campus! 

Irelyn Rogan is studying Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Irelyn is a second-year student, and this is her third semester as a HerCampus journalist! She is very interested in life style, mental health, and advocacy.