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JUL
25
4 MOS

Jennette McCurdy on 'Sam & Cat' Cancellation: 'I'm Not Apologizing. Don't Need To'

"I left Nickelodeon recently because I needed to move forward with my life," she wrote on Reddit. "I don't believe people should attack me because their image of me is destroyed after I post a harmless, sultry photo."

Sam and Cat Still - H 2014
Nickelodeon
"Sam and Cat"

Nearly two weeks after Nickelodeon canceled Sam & Cat — and Ariana Grande posted a lengthy statement on Facebook — co-star Jennette McCurdy has finally spoken about the end of the Dan Schneider comedy.

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In contrast to Grande's thoughts of gratitude to the cast (without mentioning McCurdy directly), crew and fans, and her explanation for how she looked up to her onscreen character as a role model, McCurdy's reflection, posted to Reddit on Thursday, reads more as a defense. In fact, her opening lines read, "I am not a role model. I don't claim to be, I don't try to be, and I don't want to be."

"This world is one seemingly most keen on judgment and negativity, despite all the hearts and smiley emoticons," she said. "To remove myself from the role model battle, the falsified standard set by the bubblegum industry, is — in my eyes — to remove myself from the counterintuitive battle of attempting to be something perfect while being glaringly aware of my imperfections."

"I am proud of the way I live my life. I am proud of my choices. I am proud that no one can call me fake or say I don't stand up for myself. I am proud that my friends and family would say that I'm a good person," she continued. "Calling a celebrity a role model is like calling a stranger a role model. The knowledge you have of a celebrity is no more than a caricature drawn by media tastemakers specializing in selling you an image you’re dying to buy. It’s good to have heroes, but you have to look for them in the right places. They say don’t look for true love in a bar, well I say, don’t look for role models on screens. ... I encourage you to base your idea of a role model off of someone you know well enough to see purely, not in the light, cameras, and actions of Hollywood."

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The live-action comedy Sam & Cat, a spinoff of Victorious and iCarly that was given a giant 40-episode season order last July after only four episodes, was put on a lengthy production hiatus in April. Following reported salary issues, McCurdy failed to appear at the Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards, where Sam & Cat took home the TV comedy prize, while Grande won TV comedy actress and Schneider was honored with a lifetime achievement award.

When asked if she would stick with Nickelodeon for a future acting project, McCurdy then responded, "I left Nickelodeon recently because I needed to move forward with my life." As for why she has been oddly silent on social media, "I do find myself sick of social media at times, so I take a step back. (For example, I haven't had the twitter app on my phone for the past two months, hence my lack of tweets)."

And while Reddit users bashed her for sharing the defensive reflection after racy photos of the actress leaked on the web in March, as well as recent selfies posted to her Instagram account, she said, "I post to social media when I want to and how I want to and I would whether I was in the entertainment industry or not. I don't believe people should attack me because their image of me is destroyed after I post a harmless, sultry photo. I don't believe an actor/actress should lose the rights to be themselves in an attempt to cater to the image that was created by a character they played. that's all." She added, "nothing about an adult woman taking a sultry picture and being proud of a body she worked hard for should equal 'Miley Cyrus,' imo. I'm not riding giant inflatable dicks. (And if she wants to, so be it!) ... Moreover, I'm literally wearing more than most bathing suits nowadays in any 'nekkid and provocative' picture that has been seen of me."

Altogether, the Reddit reflection is not one of remorse. "I'm not apologizing. Don't need to. Just explaining things by providing a response to comments," she said.

Read her full reflection below.

I am not a role model.

I don't claim to be, I don't try to be, and I don't want to be.

There was a time when I tried to live up to the aggrandizing title, that pedestal of a thing. Maybe it wasn't so much that I was trying to live up to it. Perhaps I thought I could and I thought I was supposed to, so I gave it my best shot.

It's fine, I can admit it. Back in my adolescence, I was more amiable, bubbly, and on lightly humid days, maybe even flouncy. I was role model material and then some.

Fast forward a few years, I've grown up a bit (emphasis on "a bit"). I might not be any wiser, but I like to think I'm more honest.

With the growing I've done, I realize that to attempt to live up to the idea of being a role model is to set myself up for foregone failure. Sure, I've made some mistakes, but even if I hadn't, people would have found invisible ones. This world is one seemingly most keen on judgment and negativity, despite all the hearts and smiley emoticons.

To remove myself from the role model battle, the falsified standard set by the bubblegum industry, is — in my eyes — to remove myself from the counterintuitive battle of attempting to be something perfect while being glaringly aware of my imperfections.

Sure, I still love my teddy bears. I still love a heart emoji (the white heart in the pink box is my favorite) and I still have a soft spot for American Girl dolls. I still love a cute dress, a good pop song, and a vanilla-scented candle. But these things don't define me or determine that I am any kind of a role model. What defines a person as a role model is the way they live their life. And no offense, but none of you know how I live my life.

Now before you start thinking I'm some sort of derelict that leads a life of crime, let me clarify. I am proud of the way I live my life. I am proud of my choices. I am proud that no one can call me fake or say I don't stand up for myself. I am proud that my friends and family would say that I'm a good person.

But in order to be thought of as a real, true role model, I believe you have to know a person and their actions, inside and out. Calling a celebrity a role model is like calling a stranger a role model. The knowledge you have of a celebrity is no more than a caricature drawn by media tastemakers specializing in selling you an image you’re dying to buy. It’s good to have heroes, but you have to look for them in the right places. They say don’t look for true love in a bar, well I say, don’t look for role models on screens.

For those of you who do consider me a role model, I hope you don't read this and cringe. I appreciate you. I appreciate you so much! I appreciate that you believe in me, support me, and in some way, hope to live your life like me. But please, I encourage you to find role models in the people around you, the people in your everyday life, the people that are your friends and family. I encourage you to base your idea of a role model off of someone you know well enough to see purely, not in the light, cameras, and actions of Hollywood.

xo Jennette