Thursday night, ABC delighted Disney fans of all ages by airing The Disney Family Singalong, an hour-long special that featured some of the studio's best-known songs from its massive catalog. The star-studded lineup included everyone from Ariana Grande to Josh Gad to Beyoncé, but Vanessa Hudgens' appearance that started a conversation online all its own.
Hudgens appeared as part of the mini-High School Musical reunion, who sang the memorable anthem "We're All in this Together." It also marked the first time the actor had really appeared in the public eye since her comments regarding coronavirus in an Instagram post caused enormous backlash online. In the video, which was posted March 17, Hudgens referenced the social distancing guidelines that were in place in California. At the time, it was being discussed that they could be in place until July, which she said "sounds like a bunch of bulls—, I'm sorry."
"But like, it's a virus, I get it, I respect it but at the same time like, even if everybody gets it, like, yeah, people are gonna die, which is terrible, but like, inevitable? I don't know," Hudgens continued. "Maybe I shouldn't be doing this right now," she added, seemingly aware of the influx of criticism she was about to receive. Just weeks later, here's how Twitter reacted to her appearance on The Disney Family Singalong.
Vanessa Hudgens: I meannnn people are gonna die from coronavirus which is terrible but.....inevitable?
Baby V just a few weeks later: pic.twitter.com/iq74gpaXWl— M 🩸 (@MaddieSandgren) April 17, 2020
I bet the families of people who died of the Coronavirus were very excited to see Vanessa Hudgens on this. #DisneyFamilySingalong— W.G. Snuffy, Esq. 🇺🇸 (@iamthedriving) April 17, 2020
vanessa hudgens manager, pr person, agent, and parents waiting to jump out when she starts talking about corona virus again pic.twitter.com/467Bx1zxaY— cody t and the t stands for tequila (@CodyT) April 17, 2020
Don’t let Vanessa Hudgens getting in on this Disney singalong distract you from the fact that she said she didn’t care if people died of coronavirus— Steez Johnson (@BlaiseyJTweetz) April 17, 2020
"So yesterday I did an Instagram Live and I realized today that some of my comments are being taken out of context," she said the following day. "It's a crazy time. It's a crazy, crazy time and I am at home and in lockdown and that's what I hope you guys are doing too - in full quarantine and staying safe and sane. I don't take this situation lightly by any means. I am home. So stay inside y'all."
vanessa "coronavirus-polanski apologist" hudgens ruined this hsm reunion for me— simone (fan account) (@greedydemie) April 17, 2020
Reminder to not forget Vanessa Hudgens said it’s nbd people will die from the Coronavirus— Tabby Gomez (@BadGalTabby) April 16, 2020
Hudgens' HSM co-star Ashley Tisdale posted a video of her own that showed her dancing to "We're All in This Together," which quickly went viral in the wake of Hudgens' comments.
I thought Vanessa Hudgens wasn't worried about coronavirus #DisneyFamilySingalong— Lizzzzzzzz @ C2E2 (@LizzyLaurie) April 17, 2020
@Disney Why is Vanessa Hudgens participating in the Disney Family Singalong given the awful, insensitive things she said about Coronavirus?— Jasmine Cruthird (@slicedalmonds) April 16, 2020
Not long after Tisdale's video started making the rounds, Hudgens herself joined in on the fun by editing herself into her co-star's clip.
Not Vanessa Hudgens on Disney sing along because of quarantine.... days after saying “yeah it sucks people are dying but...”— Bex! ✨ (@tpwkpadme) April 17, 2020
so is vanessa hudgens on this disney sing a long for charity pretending she didn't say people dying was inevitable in the most "IDGAF" voice ever like... 4 weeks ago??!?!? LOL— delanie 🦋 (@delapls) April 17, 2020
Despite Hudgens' best efforts to backtrack her comments, the backlash was so severe that comedian Randy Rainbow speculated that she might be the first celebrity to get "quarantine canceled."
Vanessa Hudgens’ PR was like “Disney pls help her”— Julie (@DailyJulianne) April 17, 2020
This Disney sing along was great until Vanessa Hudgens showed up. Do we not forget the ignorance of her IG a few weeks ago.
Also where is zac effron?— K e l l y (@🏡) (@thekelbellz) April 17, 2020
For anyone who missed its broadcast, The Disney Family Singalong will be available to stream on Hulu starting Friday, April 17.