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16th Aug 2022

Nickelodeon accused of sexualising Ariana Grande when she was a child star

April Curtin

Image: Ariane Grande on Nickelodeon

It comes after another Nickelodeon star claimed the TV channel offered her money to keep quiet about abuse

Kids TV channel Nickelodeon is being accused of sexualising and infantilising Ariana Grande when she was a child star on one of its programmes.

Grande, now 29-years-old, rose to fame when she starred as Cat Valentine in the hit series Victorious, and went on to become the huge pop superstar that she is today.

However resurfaced clips of Grande have gone viral in recent days, with some claiming that she was “sexualised and infantilised”.

The clips show Grande, a teenager at the time, sat alone on her bed while acting as Cat Valentine. She is shown talking about her uvula getting stuck between a hamster’s toes, before putting her finger in the back of her throat. Other clips see her discuss being “soaking wet”, put her toes in her mouth, and pour water on herself while trying to drink lying upside down.

One compilation video alone has already been viewed 3.4 million times, with many expressing their anger and sharing yet more scenes from Victorious which they deemed “uncomfortable”.

These are not the first accusations Nickelodeon has faced this month.

In her new memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette McCurdy, who starred alongside Grande in Sam & Cat, claimed that the TV channel offered her $300,000 in “hush money” so that she would not go public with the alleged abuse she faced at the hand of “The Creator”.

According to McCurdy, “The Creator”, who she did not name, allegedly encouraged her to drink alcohol when she was only 18-years-old, and also massaged her shoulders in an inappropriate manner.

In an excerpt of the memoir, published by Vanity Fair, McCurdy wrote: “My shoulders do have a lot of knots in them, but I don’t want The Creator to be the one rubbing them out. I want to say something, to tell him to stop, but I’m so scared of offending him.”

McCurdy, who also starred in iCarly, said her agent told her that Nickelodeon was “offering [her] $300,000” and that she should “think of it like a thank-you gift,” which made the star confused.

According to the actor’s memoir, her manager allegedly said: “They’re giving you $300,000 and the only thing they want you to do is never talk publicly about your experience at Nickelodeon.”

McCurdy said her manager was talking about experiences “specifically related to The Creator.”

The actor, now 30-years-old, rejected the offer, even though she said her team told her it was “free money.”

McCurdy wrote: “No it’s not. This isn’t free money. This feels to me like hush money…I’m not taking hush money.”

The excerpt continues: “What the fuck? Nickelodeon is offering me $300,000 in hush money to not talk publicly about my experience on the show? My personal experience of The Creator’s abuse? This is a network with shows made for children. Shouldn’t they have some sort of moral compass? Shouldn’t they at least try to report to some sort of ethical standard?

She adds: “I lean back against the headboard of my bed and cross my legs out in front of me. I extend my arms behind my head and rest them there in a gesture of pride. Who else would have the moral strength? I just turned down $300,000.”

JOE has approached Nickelodeon for comment.

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