Actress Vanessa Hudgens’ controversial comments about the COVID-19 pandemic have resurfaced online three years after she made her statement.
The former Disney star angered many at the time when she shrugged off fears of the coronavirus and said it was “inevitable” that people would die during an Instagram live stream.
She was called “terrible and heartless” at the time as she received a mass reaction. Her comments came as the world approached mass lockdowns and states rolled out stay-at-home orders nationwide.
Hudgens later apologized for her comments in a statement on social media.
But now that it’s been three years high school musical star made her statements, people seem to react differently in retrospect.
While Hudgens spoke at length on her Instagram Live, a 27-second clip went viral and has been viewed 18.7 million times on Twitter.
“I’m sorry but like, it’s a virus, I understand it, like, I respect it, but at the same time, even if everyone gets it, like, yes, people will die, which is terrible but inevitable? I I don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t do this now,” she said online, ending with a small laugh.
Not long after, as the backlash began, Hudgens apologized in a video and written statement.
“I realize my words were insensitive and not at all appropriate to the situation our country and the world are in right now. This was a huge wake up call about the importance of my words now more than ever,” she wrote.
The person who shared the clip online, @chrisburke, tweeted it on March 17, 2020, saying, “Vanessa Hudgens’ career will be dead after she posts this.”
Almost three years to the day, popular Twitter account @notgwendalupe, which shares throwback content, reposted the video to Twitter. The tone of the reaction in the comments was very different this time.
“For that, she was actually queen,” said Twitter user @zarasgetaway, receiving ten thousand likes. The original account that shared it replied, “Looking at it again makes me giggle, which is awful but inevitable?”
Musician and podcaster Solomon Ray dubbed Hudgens a “queen” in the comments section, as did countless others. Pop culture author and musician Ladidai also reflected on the times. “lmfaooo we had no idea at the time what was in store for us,” she wrote.
A large number of verified Twitter users said their attitude was “based,” which is one way of agreeing with someone.
It’s a completely different scene from March 2020, when Hudgens was slammed by many online, often celebrities. TV’s Soledad O’Brien commented that Hudgens was “not the nation’s brain trust,” prompting other notable people to chime in.
Hunter Star Logan Lerman wrote: “Like what a schmuck” and History of the World, Part II Star Josh Gad simply said, “God help us” in response.
Many claimed at the time that Hudgens’ take on the pandemic was “career ending,” but she’s worked consistently ever since. In 2021 she starred alongside Andrew Garfield in Tick, tick… boom! plus two more princess switch Movies for Netflix.