Ariana Grande speaks on her time at Nickelodeon in recent "Podcrushed" interview

Ariana Grande is invited a as guest on the "Podcrushed" Podcast and is interviewed, during she speaks on her time as a star on Nickelodeon.
The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion"
The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" / Marleen Moise/GettyImages

Ariana Grande, the Grammy-winning artist, recently joined Penn Badgley on the "Podcrushed" podcast, where she candidly discussed her experiences as a child star and her reflections on her time on Nickelodeon's hit show Victorious. The show, which aired from 2010 to 2013, marked a pivotal moment in Grande's career with her portrayal of Cat Valentine, a role she later reprised in the spinoff series Sam & Cat.

"We were young performers who just wanted to do this with our lives more than anything, and we got to. That was so beautiful. I think we had some very special memories, and we feel privileged to have been able to create those roles and be a part of something so special for a lot of young kids." Despite her gratitude for the experience, Grande admitted that she is currently reevaluating her relationship with her time on Victorious. She emphasized the need for a safer environment for child actors, especially in light of recent allegations and revelations in the entertainment industry.

"I think the environment needs to be made safer if kids are going to be acting. There should be therapists available, and parents should be allowed to be wherever they want to be, not only on kids' sets," Grande advocated. "For anyone at this level of exposure, there should be something in the contract about mandatory therapy, twice or thrice a week."

Grande also recounted a recent conversation with Max Martin, a prominent figure in the music industry, who provided her with much-needed support during her early career. "A lot of people don’t have the support that they need to get through being a performer at such a young age," she observed. "The environment just needs to be made a lot safer all around, and like I said, I’m still reprocessing my relationship with it in real time."

Reflecting on the positives of her time on Victorious, Grande highlighted the bond she formed with her co-star Liz Gillies and the characters they portrayed. "Liz and I got to fall in love with these characters that we created, and learn what it feels like to be so immersed in a character that you can’t separate yourself from it. But yeah, the rest of it is still being worked on," Grande shared. While neither Grande nor her Victorious co-stars appeared in the Quiet on Set documentary, clips from the show have been used as examples of content deemed inappropriate during its Nickelodeon era. Grande did not specify particular scenes during her "Podcrushed" interview but acknowledged feeling uncomfortable revisiting certain aspects of Victorious.

Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kids' Choice Awards - Red Carpet
Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kids' Choice Awards - Red Carpet / Larry Busacca/KCA2010/GettyImages

"Specifically about our show, I think we were convinced that pushing the envelope with our humor was what made us cool," Grande reflected. "And the innuendos were… it was like the cool differentiation. I think it all happened so quickly, and now looking back on some of the clips, I’m like, ‘Damn, really? Oh shit’… and the things that weren’t approved for the network were snuck onto our website or whatever."

In light of her reflections, Grande has become an advocate for increased parental supervision on sets with teen and child actors, emphasizing the need for stricter guidelines and more oversight to protect young performers. Neither Grande nor the hosts of "Podcrushed" directly mentioned Victorious creator Dan Schneider by name, nor the recent Investigation Discovery documentary Quiet on Set, which detailed allegations of misconduct during Schneider's tenure at Nickelodeon. However, Grande expressed her distress upon hearing stories from former child actors, whom she referred to as "survivors." 

As a longtime fan of Victorious and Nickelodeon, hearing about the harassment allegations involving my old favorite stars is particularly saddening. It's clear that the entertainment industry needs to prioritize the well-being of young performers and ensure their safety and support. Grande's advocacy for mandatory therapy and increased parental supervision on sets is a step in the right direction, and I hope her voice brings about positive change in the industry.

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