Ariana Grande says she’s ‘reprocessing’ Victorious innuendos: ‘I’m like damn, really?’

Ariana Grande has said that she is now “re-processing” her relationship with Nickelodeon show Victorious, in the wake of a bombshell documentary about allegations of abuse on TV sets.

The Grammy-winning pop star and actor was the most recent guest on Gossip Girl star Penn Badgley’s podcast, Podcrushed.

While Grande, 30, began by discussing more lighthearted topics such as her childhood obsession with Jim Carrey and her love of comedy, she later voiced her opinion on the child stars in the entertainment industry.

Last month, Investigation Discovery released its four-part docuseries Quiet on Set, which included testimonies from former Nickelodeon child stars who claimed there was a toxic culture of harassment, racism and sexism on the sets of shows led by Schneider.

The biggest revelation came from Drake & Josh alum Drake Bell, who spoke out for the first time about the alleged sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of actor and since-convicted sex offender Brian Peck.

Following the release of the docuseries, Schneider released an apology video, saying that watching the documentary was “very difficult” as he faced his “past behaviours – some of which are embarrassing and that I regret”.

However, he is now suing the documentary’s producers for defamation, with his lawyers calling it a “hit job” and saying he had no knowledge of any abuse that took place on his sets.

Dan Schneider is suing the producers of documentary ‘Quiet on Set’ (YouTube)
Dan Schneider is suing the producers of documentary ‘Quiet on Set’ (YouTube)

Grande, who did not refer to Schneider or the Quiet on Set documentary by name during the podcast, said it was “devastating” to hear stories of abuse in the industry and referred to former child actors as “survivors”.

“I think the environment needs to be made safer if kids are going to be acting, and I think there should be therapists,” she said. “I think parents should allowed to be wherever they want to be, and I think not only on kids’ sets. If anyone wants to do this, or music, or anything at this level of exposure, there should be in the contract something about therapy is mandatory twice a week or thrice a week, or something like that.”

She continued: “I was actually talking to Max Martin about this the other day, because he was always such an amazing person to talk to about the stressful parts of what I was experiencing.

“And he was just amazing, but a lot of people don’t have the support that they need to get through being a performer at that level at such a young age…the environment just needs to be made a lot safer all around and like I said I’m still in real time reprocessing my relationship to it.”

Ariana Grande appeared on Penn Badgley’s podcast (Getty Images)
Ariana Grande appeared on Penn Badgley’s podcast (Getty Images)

The “Thank u, next” singer was just 14 when she booked her role on Nickelodeon’s hit show, Victorious, which was created and helmed by Schneider and aired between 2010 and 2013 for four series.

“We got cast and it was the best news we could hear,” she recalled. “We were young performers who just wanted to do this with our lives more than anything, and we got to and that was so beautiful.”

Grande then opened up about her current complex relationship with the show, referring to its many innuendos which have resurfaced in recent years, as viewers challenege the sexual nature of the jokes on a children’s TV series.

“Specifically about our show, I think that was something that we were convinced was the cool thing about us — is that we pushed the envelope with our humour,” she said. “And the innuendos were… it was like the cool differentiation. And I don’t know, I think it just 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 on to like our website or whatever.”

“I guess I’m upset, yeah,” she added.

Badgley, who stars in the music video for Grande’s song “The Boy Is Mine”, said: “It’s undoubtedly true that if you’re a veteran performer by the time you’re in your twenties…I don’t think there’s anybody who’s got here who hasn’t experienced these degrees of work which you should and could call exploitation”.

The YOU star added that there are “a million layers” to the issue and suggested that it was more widespread than Hollywood.

“I’m glad this conversation is happening here and in the world,” Grande responded. “It’s a nice place to see the world, in unison standing in a palace where we’re like ‘that’s changing, that’s unacceptable’.”