Former child star Jennette McCurdy’s memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died hit shelves on Aug. 9. It details both the hilarious and heartbreaking realities of being catapulted into superstardom at a young age.
One thing readers have noted is McCurdy’s repeated references to “The Creator” throughout her book. While the former iCarly actor never explicitly states their identity, it’s implied “The Creator” is a former executive from McCurdy’s days at Nickelodeon. Here’s what McCurdy had to say about “The Creator” in her memoir and how this individual contributed to her longtime abuse at the network.
Who is Jennette McCurdy? ‘iCarly,’ ‘Sam & Cat,’ and her new tell-all memoir
Jennette McCurdy was born in Southern California. Her mother, Debra, thrust her into the entertainment industry at an extremely young age. Debra’s sole dream was to see her daughter become a Hollywood superstar, per Vanity Fair.
After years of appearing in TV commercials, McCurdy’s first major role was in the high-energy Nickelodeon sitcom iCarly. The show, which followed the wacky misadventures of a weekly web series, proved to be a smash hit. It aired for six seasons between 2007 and 2012, with McCurdy playing sassy the iCarly co-host Sam Puckett.
McCurdy’s success at Nickelodeon continued into the Victorious-iCarly spinoff series Sam & Cat, which starred McCurdy alongside Ariana Grande. But even though McCurdy acted in these lighthearted, comedic roles on screen, behind the scenes things weren’t so laid-back.
The contents of the Jennette McCurdy memoir are just as startling as its title — which, unsurprisingly, details the toll that acting and her relationship with her abusive mother took on her mental well-being.
In the book, McCurdy explains that her mother was prone to extreme mood swings, making her childhood unstable. McCurdy, herself, had obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and an eating disorder that Debra introduced as “calorie restriction,” per Vanity Fair.
Her mother was diagnosed with cancer during McCurdy’s run on Sam & Cat. Debra died in 2013 — hence the memoir’s title: I’m Glad My Mom Died.
Who is ‘The Creator’ in Jennette McCurdy’s memoir, ‘I’m Glad My Mom Died?’
Although Debra was responsible for much of McCurdy’s suffering over the course of her teenage years, she wasn’t the only person who created a culture of abuse at Nickelodeon, according to the memoir.
While detailing her experience at Nickelodeon in I’m Glad My Mom Died, McCurdy frequently refers to one of her former network bosses as “The Creator.” This individual allegedly forced her to drink alcohol when she was underage. And they gave her “massages.”
“I chose to name him ‘The Creator’ because I find it entertaining and sort of fitting for the person,” McCurdy writes, per Vanity Fair. “I feel similarly around The Creator as I feel around Mom — on edge, desperate to please, terrified of stepping out of line.”
She also says Nickelodeon allegedly offered her $300,000 to stay quiet about her experiences with “The Creator.” But she says she didn’t accept it.
McCurdy never refers to “The Creator” by name in her memoir. But former iCarly creator Dan Schneider has faced allegations of abuse in the past.
Where is ‘The Creator’ now?
According to Deadline, Schneider left Nickelodeon in 2018 after Nickelodeon parent company ViacomCBS investigated him. While the investigation found that some of his colleagues praised his work ethic, his co-workers also noted he could be verbally abusive, sending angry emails and throwing “tantrums.”
These allegations were furthered when internet users started pointing out the surprising amount of adult innuendos found in shows he created that were intended for children, such as Victorious. In many episodes, there were age-inappropriate jokes. And certain shots that showed the actors’ bare feet raised some eyebrows.
Viral internet posts also raised questions about his interactions with the child actors on his shows. Some pointed out how physically close he would get to the children.
Schneider has since denied any claims that he sexualized his young actors. But Jennette McCurdy’s memoir is bound to bring some of these concerns back to the light. Today, he continues to show support for many of the former child stars he used to work with and has a creator credit on Paramount+’s iCarly reboot.