Shropshire Star

Ariana Grande: Therapy should be mandatory for child stars

The US actress and pop star reflected on her time at Nickelodeon.

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande has said therapy should be mandatory in contracts for all child stars.

The 30-year-old found fame as a teenager on children’s TV channel Nickelodeon, portraying Cat Valentine on Victorious, before she went on to star in a spin-off show called Sam And Cat opposite Jennette McCurdy.

Grande reflected on her time on the shows, after former child actors made allegations of emotional and physical abuse on Nickelodeon sets in documentary series Quiet On Set: The Dark Side Of Kids TV.

Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande, and the cast of Victorious arrive at Nickelodeon’s 24th annual Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles (Alamy)

Although she did not mention the series by name, the actress and pop star empathised with the “devastating” allegations which had recently come to light.

Grande said she had a “beautiful” experience on the TV sets, but insisted that the environment around child actors “just needs to be made a lot safer all around”.

During an episode of the Podcrushed podcast, co-hosted by US actor Penn Badgley, Grande suggested that therapy twice or three times a week to offset “the level of exposure” to child stars should be included in their contracts.

“There should be an element that is mandatory of therapy, a professional person to unpack what this experience of your life changing so drastically does to you at a young age, at any age,” she said.

Grande suggested she has been “reprocessing” her experience on the Nickelodeon sets, which she said “has and is” changing.

Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande during a special screening of Victorious in 2011 (AFF/Alamy)

“A lot of people don’t have the support that they need to get through performing at that level at such a young age,” she said.

Alongside the mandatory therapy, Grande said that parents should be “allowed to be wherever they want to be”, suggesting that parents only “occasionally” came to set during her time at the channel.

Former Nickelodeon TV producer Dan Schneider, who created hit shows including Victorious, filed a defamation lawsuit claiming the Quiet On Set series had “irreparably harmed” his reputation.

After releasing her debut album in 2013, Grande has gone on to win two Grammy awards as a pop star, while also achieving number one status on her last five consecutive albums in the UK charts.

You actor Badgley most recently starred in her music video for The Boy Is Mine, from her 2024 album Eternal Sunshine.

The US pop star will next be seen as Glinda in the upcoming film adaptation of Wicked, opposite British star Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba.

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