Nickelodeon contributes to the exploitation of child stars
April 1, 2023
The shows we all know and love from our childhood are surely a large factor of our development into society as we mature. For our generation, fans have taken attention to the behind the scenes drama and abuse behind childhood stars. As we may view the shows as entertainment, viewers do not take into account the trauma happening behind the scenes.
In particular, iCarly star Jeanette McCurdy revealed new revelations about “the Creator.” A recent Glamour Magazine article details how the creator of both iCarly and Sam and Cat along with other popular shows like Victorious, Drake and Josh, and Zoey 101 is big Nickelodeon name, Dan Schneider.
In 2018, Schneider left the network after an investigation of misconduct, though denying actions of inappropriately perceived comedy. His first major interview since his abrupt leave helped address the controversy that surrounded his departure since leaving Nickelodeon. What is most difficult about the channel and star’s heightened concerns were the fact that the childhood actors were dealing with somewhat typical occurrences of adolescence, while having to portray this perfect character on television, almost seen as a role model for younger kids to follow. With heightened concerns related to abuse of cast members, other co-workers such as Arthus Gradstein, who worked as a writer and producer with Schneider told The Times that Schneider acted inappropriately with the people who he worked with. Schneider’s high expectations for work put lots of pressure on many, including McCurdy. Glamour Magazine highlights that after Sam and Cat was canceled after a single season, she was offered $300,000 not to talk about her experience, which she refused.
With this in mind, it is important to note that McCurdy was seen and portrayed as this “food-obsessed” character on iCarly, while personally dealing with serious diseases known by its persuasive characteristics; eating disorders. Eating disorders are a serious mental and physical disease, where McCurdy reveals she was basically the polar opposite of how her character was viewed by others. In her newly released memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, McCurdy does explain how her mother’s role in adolescence was largely to blame, alongside the uncomfortable reality of her character, which was only amplified by Schneider’s screenplay. The life-threatening implications of eating disorders factor into the irony that the television show was planned to be hilarious, despite the actors critically suffering behind the scenes.