Jennette McCurdy is finally speaking out about the controversial ending to her show Sam & Cat, saying that she does not want young fans looking to her as a role model.
McCurdy was at the center of a pair of controversies that led to the show’s cancellation. First there were the nearly nude pictures of her that leaked, and then a public spat with the show’s producers over her pay.
Co-star Arianna Grande has already addressed the show’s ending, posting a lengthy Facebook message that said she looked up to her character.
“When I was younger, people loved Cat so much I used to pretend to be more like her. It took me a long time to be brave enough to separate myself and show people how different we actually are,” she wrote. “I think that’s honestly because I admire her so much. Her appreciation for life and everybody she encounters. Her passion and genuine excitement for the little things that most people dread like school projects and work. She always saw negative obstacles as opportunities to make things good.”
The note failed to mention Jennette McCurdy at all, adding to speculation that there may have been some ill will as the show came to an abrupt end.
Now McCurdy is sharing her side, saying that it is wrong for fans to ever idolize celebrities.
In the statement on Reddit, McCurdy wrote:
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.
McCurdy said she learned that “to attempt to live up to the idea of being a role model” is just a path to “foregone failure.”
She later went on to defend her lifestyle choices:
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.
Jennette McCurdy went on to tell fans to find role models in “the people around you, the people in your everyday life.”