In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, actress Vanessa Hudgens took to Instagram Live to muse about the outbreak with catastrophic results. A viral clip from her broadcast shows her referring to mass casualties as "inevitable," and thinking out loud about COVID-19. Hudgens is not at all happy about the projected timeline for the pandemic.
"Til July sounds like a bunch of bulls—, I'm sorry," Hudgens said in the clip. "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. Maybe I shouldn't be doing this right now."
The 27-second clip got Hudgens in some seriously hot water as it went viral on social media. Many commenters condemned the actress, saying that she was contributing to the problem, and also that she was displaying a callous attitude towards human life.
Naturally, others defended Hudgens, saying that she should not be persecuted just for thinking out loud. However, with a platform of her size, many thought that she should take more care in what she says in public.
At the time of this writing, there are over 196,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The U.S. alone has over 4,400 cases, and more are expected as testing becomes more widely available.
The best way to slow the spread of the virus is social distancing, which Hudgens herself appears to be practicing. It is the act of staying at home and limiting interaction, with the hopes of ensuring that the healthcare system is not overrun with people needing treatment all at once. It can also help protect people in vulnerable populations like the elderly from the high mortality rate of the coronavirus. For more information, visit the CDC's website.
Here is what people are saying about Hudgens' quarantine clip.
Are we calling it yet on Vanessa Hudgens being the first celebrity to get quarantine-cancelled?— Randy Rainbow (@RandyRainbow) March 17, 2020
YouTuber Randy Rainbow wondered if Hudgens might be the first celebrity to get "quarantine-canceled" — presumably meaning that she will be publicly vilified while a huge percentage of the population is social distancing and mimicking quarantine conditions at home. Judging by how widely Hudgens' clip spread on Tuesday, that could be the case.
the way vanessa hudgens said "yeah, people are gonna dieeee" omg cast her in a sorority movie asap. she has been playing all these bland wimpy girls when she has had a villain inside of her this whole time— Bolu Babalola (@BeeBabs) March 17, 2020
Some users joked that they were seeing a new aspect of Hudgens' potential as an actress, calling for her to be cast as a villain in her next role. They thought that the clip showed how naturally she might take to a sinister monologue.
vanessa hudgens really said i respect the virus as if the virus was a lifestyle— 💨 (@esotriea) March 17, 2020
Many viewers were particularly surprised by Hudgens phrasing when she said: "I respect the virus." They wondered what she meant by that, and if it was a genuine attempt to endorse social distancing.
Gabriella vs. Sharpay
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Hudgens will always be Gabriella Montez to some fans — the heroine of High School Musical. Comparing her clip to a video from her former co-star Ashely Tisdale, where Disdale danced to the High School Musical soundtrack, some fans began to wonder if Tisdale's character Sharpay might have really been the protagonist the whole time.
ashley tisdale posted a wholesome quarantine video doing the HSM choreography and vanessa hudgens said dying is inevitable I hope Ms. Darbus is recognizes her mistake— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) March 17, 2020
- And I fucking hate the messages they try to send??? When they have billions of followers??? S T O P. It's a PANDEMIC, STAY AT HOME AND STAY SAFE. Hospitals have run out of space and they have to choose who to save and who not to save!!— 𝓜𝓪𝓷𝓭𝔂. ✧ (@mandyislnfIames) March 17, 2020
Hudgens' critics felt that it was the tone of her clip that really upset them. They argued that it showed a lack of perspective, ignoring the massive death toll of the virus to focus on the disappointment of canceled events.
Dear @VanessaHudgens ,
Hi. My name is Jamie Coleman, and I am a trauma surgeon.
I have told countless people their child/husband/wife/loved one is dead.
Come spend ONE night with me, witness ONE conversation with me.
HEAR those screams, SEE those tears.
Until then,March 17, 2020
Some who responded to Hudgens' video were doctors, taking issue with the tone of her message. One even invited her to shadow as a surgeon for a day and see the heartbreak that "inevitable" deaths would cause.
Vanessa Hudgens' publicist right now pic.twitter.com/meEg8IJqvy— Tom & Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo) March 17, 2020
Many users spared a thought for Hudgens' publicists, agents and managers on Tuesday, wondering how they were handling this sudden crisis. They figured that publicists were expecting their work to quiet down during the quarantine, but Hudgens proved otherwise.
'Out of Context'
Vanessa hudgens trying to say that we're all are crazy and we misunderstood her comments about corona virus. Like bitch we're not stupid! pic.twitter.com/f7o5VxCSMu— H24 SBATTAAA (@ChiaraL10493019) March 17, 2020
Finally, Hudgens herself returned to Instagram on Tuesday, saying that her comments were being taken "out of context." In an Instagram Story clip, she advised her fans to follow social distancing protocol and assured them that she was taking the outbreak seriously.
"Hey guys," she began. "So yesterday I did an Instagram Live and I realized today that some of my comments are being taken out of context. 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."
She concluded: "I don't take this situation lightly by any means. I am home. So stay inside y'all."