It's tension between the actresses that's responsible for the break, a source tells PEOPLE
After speculation that racy photos of Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy were behind the hiatus of her hit Nickelodeon show, a network rep says that the two are unrelated.
The photos, which show a scantily clad McCurdy, 21, in lingerie surfaced online in March. While some reports speculated the leaked photos led to a halt on the hit show – which costars Ariana Grande – a source close to set says it’s tension between the actresses that’s to blame for the break.
“We are wrapping up what was an unusually long production cycle of Sam & Cat, and everyone is understandably tired,” says a spokesperson for Nickelodeon. “We are going into our production hiatus next week which will give everyone on the show a much needed rest.”
The show, which was an instant success upon its debut last summer, had received a 40 episode order from the network.
On Sunday, McCurdy skipped Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards, where the show picked up top TV comedy and Grande, 20, won for top TV actress.
“I wish I could explain everything as thoroughly as I would like to, but unfortunately a simpler explanation is all I can write. I was put in an uncomfortable, compromising, unfair situation (many of you have guessed what it is) and I had to look out for me,” McCurdy Tweeted Sunday.
“I chose to not go because sticking up for what is right and what is fair is what my mom taught me is ALWAYS the most important thing.”
She later added, “My previous tweet has nothing to do with pics leaked. It has to do with how Nickelodeon treated me. That’s all.”
On Wednesday, TMZ reported that McCurdy’s dissatisfaction stems from her salary, which is said to be lower than Grande’s. The site says McCurdy is attempting to renegotiate her contract.
Grande, however, says that that is not the case.
“I hate addressing rumors and I hate gossip but this is really bothering me. Jennette and I agreed upfront that we would be treated equally on this show in all regards (as we should be, considering we each work just as hard as the other on this show). The rumors circulating about our contracts and our salary not being equal are absolutely ridiculous and false. I don’t know who’s putting these idiotic quotes out there but I thought I’d straighten it out and try to end this nonsense,” she Tweeted Thursday evening.
“As far as the show goes, I don’t know what’s happening because I’m not directly involved with the problem but I just wanted to address this one rumor in particular because I am NOT making more money than my costar, nor do I think I should be. So we can all move on and get out of our heads that this was a money thing cause I don’t play like that at all. I am, have always been and always will be about equality and fairness.”