The beloved High School Musical character, Gabriella Montez could do no wrong. But it seems that the actress who played her, Vanessa Hudgens, can.
Hudgens copped criticism yesterday following an Instagram Live in which she spoke about the long term projections of coronavirus pandemic. She told her followers, “It’s a virus, I get it. Like, I respect it. But at the same time, even if everybody gets it like yeah, people are gonna die. Which is terrible, but, like, inevitable.”
The comments received immediate backlash from social media commentators who pointed out that the purpose of self-isolation and quarantine is to slow the spread of the infection and prevent deaths.
One Twitter user pointed out that Hudgens was correct in saying that people are going to die but added, “That’s why we should do anything we can to protect the weaker people in our society and therefore keep the number of deaths as low as possible.”
Another commentator referenced Hudgens’ comments saying, “Inevitable until it happens to you? Or a family member? Then you’ll want sympathy right?”
Other former fans also voiced their disappointment with one saying, “Oh okay I don’t stan Vanessa Hudgens anymore.”
Another High School Musical fan admonished her saying, “I’m so disappointed in you Ms. Montez”. One former fan also pointed out that this is far from the first time that Hudgens’ has been criticised, saying: “I’m sorry because I really like vanessa hudgens when I was growing up...but she’s worn box braids, wants to work with woody allen and the things that she just said about the coronavirus…”
The tweet refers to accusations of cultural appropriation made against Hudgens for wearing traditionally black, braided hairstyles. It also makes reference to comments that Hudgens made last year saying that she wants to work with director, Woody Allen despite the allegation of sexual abuse made against him by his daughter.
Hudgens later apologised for her comments about coronavirus. In a series of videos posted to her Instagram story she told followers, “Yesterday I did an Instagram live and I realised today that some of my comments are being taken out of context...I am at home and in lockdown. And I hope that’s what you guys are doing too, in full quarantine and staying safe and sane.”
She followed it up with a written apology posted to her Twitter account: “I’m so sorry for the way I have offended anyone and everyone who has seen the clip from my Instagram live yesterday”.
Hudgens said that the incident “has been a huge wakeup call about the significance my words have, now more than ever.”
The whole fiasco coincided with a more lighthearted interaction between Hudgens and her former High School Musical co-star, Ashley Tisdale. Tisdale took to social media yesterday posting a Tik Tok of herself dancing to one of the songs from the original High School Musical soundtrack.
Telling fans, “If you need to work out while on #selfquarantine try this...hopefully this will brighten your day a little!” Responding to Tisdale’s video, Hudgens posted her own version to Instagram, captioning it, “Lol maybe I start getting into tik tok?” The video shows Hudgens pouring a glass of wine and dancing alongside the video of Tisdale.
As of Tuesday afternoon, only people who have recently travelled from overseas or have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and experienced symptoms within 14 days are advised to be tested.
If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor, don’t visit, or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.
Zoe Victoria is a freelance writer. You can follow her on Twitter @ Zoe__V