Vanessa Hudgens apologizes for 'insensitive' coronavirus remarks that sparked outrage
Vanessa Hudgens is apologizing for her comments regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
The controversy started after the former Disney star posted an Instagram Story Monday saying, in part, "Even if everybody gets it, like yeah, people are going to die which is terrible, but inevitable?"
On Tuesday, she walked back, again taking to Instagram stories to say some of her "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," Hudgens said. "Yeah I don't take this situation lightly, by any means, I am home."
Shortly after her clarification, the 31-year-old actress shared a statement to Twitter apologizing to the people she offended.
"I realize my words were insensitive and not at all appropriate for the situation our country and the world are in right now," she wrote. "This has been a huge wake up call to the significance my words have, now more than ever. I'm sending safe wishes to everyone to stay safe and healthy during this crazy time."
Here's what Hudgens said Monday and the social reaction her comments caused:
On Monday, Hudgens shared some thoughts about the coronavirus pandemic that didn't sit well with people on social media.
The actress went on Instagram Live and seemingly spoke out about Donald Trump's warning Monday that the coronavirus response could stretch into July or August.
"Until July sounds like a bunch of (expletive), I'm sorry, but like it's a virus, I get it, I respect it," Hudgens said. "Even if everybody gets it, like yeah, people are going to die which is terrible, but inevitable? I don't know, maybe I shouldn't be doing this right now."
The clip was circulated Tuesday on Twitter and created a stir on the platform where people called out Hudgens for sharing such a "horrible and heartless message."
"Oh my GOD. @VanessaHudgens you absolute thick, privileged, uncaring (expletive)," wrote Caroline Hirons in response to the video.
Others criticized the "High School Musical" star for being out of touch.
"What people like Vanessa Hudgens don’t realize is that while they are missing Coachella, the rest of us are missing paychecks. While she struggles to stay relevant, the rest of us struggle to provide for our families," tweeted @TaraHobbit.
USA TODAY has reached out to Hudgens' reps for comment.
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Hudgens catapulted to fame in 2006 with Disney’s “High School Musical” as the shy, smart transfer student Gabriella Montez. She reprised her lead role in the two subsequent “HSM” – as fans call it – movies.
Recently, she’s found success as a Netflix rom-com darling, starring in 2018’s “The Princess Switch” and 2019’s “The Knight Before Christmas.”
On Tuesday, the U.S. death toll surpassed 100 with more than 6,300 confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. More cases are expected in the coming days as the government ramps up testing. Worldwide, more than 7,900 people have been killed by the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control is urging people to practice social distancing while some local governments are shutting down restaurants, bars and gyms to prevent the spread of the virus.