Controversial comments about the COVID-19 pandemic made by actress Vanessa Hudgens have resurfaced online, three years after she made them.
The former Disney star angered many at the time as she shrugged off coronavirus fears saying it was “inevitable” that people would die during an Instagram Livestream.
She was called “horrible and heartless” at the time, as she received mass backlash. Her comments were made as the world approached mass lockdowns, and states implemented stay-at-home orders nationally.
Hudgens’ later apologized for her remarks in a social media statement.
However, since it’s now been three years since the High School Musical star made her statements, people seem to have a different reaction with the benefit of hindsight.
While Hudgens spoke at length on her Instagram Live, a 27-second clip went viral and was viewed 18.7 million times on Twitter.
“I’m sorry but like, it’s a virus, I get it, like, 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,” she said online, finishing with a small laugh.
Not long after when the backlash began, Hudgens issued an apology in a video and a written statement.
“I realize my words were insensitive and not at all appropriate for the situation our country and the world are in right now. This has been a huge wake up call about the significance my words have, now more than ever,” she wrote.
The person who shared the clip online, @chrisburke tweeted it on March 17, 2020 and said “Vanessa Hudgens’ career will be dead after posting this.”
Almost three years after to the day, the popular Twitter account @notgwendalupe which shares throwback content, published the video again on Twitter. The tone of the reaction in the comments section was very different this time around.
“She was actually queen for this,” Twitter user @zarasgetaway said, receiving ten thousand likes. The original account that shared it replied, “when I rewatch it I let a giggle out, which is terrible but like inevitable?”
Musician and podcaster Solomon Ray also called Hudgens a “Queen” in the comment section, as did countless others. Pop culture writer and musician ladidai also reflected on the time. “lmfaooo we had no idea what we were in for back then,” she wrote.
A large amount of verified Twitter users said her take was “based,” which is a way of agreeing with someone.
It’s a vastly different scene from March 2020 when Hudgens was slammed by many online, often by celebrities. TV’s Soledad O’Brien commented that Hudgens was “not the nation’s brain trust” which led other notable people to chime in.
Hunters 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 a “career ender” but she’s worked consistently since then. In 2021 she starred alongside Andrew Garfield in Tick, Tick… Boom! as well as two more Princess Switch movies for Netflix.