“Their network is going in the dumper.”
Landing a role on Nickelodeon may be a dream come true for most young actors, but it doesn’t always live up to the hype for some. Despite these stars appearing to have a blast on screen, it can be a different story behind the scenes. In fact, there are quite a few actors who have come forward with their thoughts about the network — and they’ve got some choice words for their former TV home.
Read on to find out what these stars had to say about Nickelodeon…
Jennette McCurdy has long been vocal about her disappointing experience working with Nickelodeon, but she recently claimed that things got so bad that the network allegedly offered her $300,000 to not speak publicly about her time with the station. Jennette said she declined the alleged offer and in her recently published book, “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” accused network executives of exploiting her. She claimed she was encouraged to drink alcohol at work while still underage and was even photographed in a bikini at a wardrobe fitting despite being uncomfortable.
The actress says that one of the most difficult situations with the network came during her time on “Sam & Cat,” which she claimed was originally supposed to be her own show but ended up also starring Ariana Grande. On top of missing her chance at a solo show, she claimed the network also did not allow her to pursue other outside opportunities during filming — all while Ariana’s career skyrocketed and she was often allowed to miss work. (The specifics of each of their respective contracts is not known.)
“The week where I was told Ariana would not be here at all, and that they would write around her absence this episode by having her character be locked in a box. Are you. Kidding me. So I have to turn down movies while Ariana’s off whistle-toning at the Billboard Music Awards? F—. This…If I wasn’t such a good sport to begin with, I wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place. I wouldn’t be on this s—ty show saying these s—ty lines on this s—ty set with this s—ty hairstyle,” Jennette wrote.
Marc Summers served as host to numerous Nickelodeon shows during his time with the network including “Double Dare” and “What Would You Do?” While he may have enjoyed his on-air experience, he didn’t have very many nice things to say about the network after his shows wrapped.
“Their network is going in the dumper. Disney beats it. They have no idea what they’re doing. They put on a bunch of cartoons and stuffed animals instead of real human beings that other people can associate with…The creative people are gone. It’s become a ‘how much money can we make from this merchandise’ and ‘how many tours can we put out and steal money from the parents,'” Marc said on MAX 98.3.
Ariana Grande has become one of the most successful Nickelodeon alums but she says portraying Cat on “Victorious” and “Sam & Cat” was at times a “frustrating” experience. She explained that while being on the network was a “dream come true,” it was also hard to be “attached to a character that was nothing like” herself. While Ariana admits she felt like she was required to be like Cat both onscreen and in real life during her time on the network, she clearly was able to eventually pave her own way.
While Devon Werkheiser enjoyed starring in his show “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide,” he says he believes Nickelodeon didn’t use him to his full potential. Looking back, Ned explained that he felt that the network could have promoted the show better and given him more opportunities.
“I thought they could have promoted our show more compared to the other shows that got more attention. I also would have liked to have been used more by them, for the award shows and stuff like that,” he said during a Reddit AMA.
Alasdair Gillis starred in “You Can’t Do That On Television” from 1982 to 1987. He said the experience was fun at the moment, but reflecting on the experience, he believes some of the jokes made were not in good taste or appropriate for kids.
“There are some things I might question in retrospect — fat jokes about Lisa, and a certain amount that was probably over my head at the time in terms of what was funny or tactful. Probably not the healthiest thing for kids,” he said in “Slimed!: An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age.”
Ashley Argota was a part of the Nickelodeon family for much of her adolescence, starring in both “True Jackson, VP” and “Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures.” While she does have nice things to say about her on-set experiences, she has also thrown a bit of shade at the network. When fans discovered she was passionate about singing long after her Nick shows wrapped, Ashley let her followers know that she had wanted to share her singing talents earlier — but she claimed she wasn’t given the chance.
“The other network never gave me the opportunity,” Ashley wrote on Twitter.