1:27pm PT by Chris Gardner
Vanessa Hudgens Responds to Backlash Over Coronavirus Death Comments: "Stay Inside, Y'All"
Vanessa Hudgens took to Instagram Stories on Tuesday afternoon to clarify comments she made during an Instagram Live clip a day earlier that went viral, with many accusing the actress and singer of not taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously enough.
During Monday's video, Hudgens, who is looking directly at the camera, responds to shutdown orders that some — including President Donald Trump — have said could last as long as July or August. “Um, yeah, ’til July sounds like a bunch of bullshit,” she said of a potential quarantine to her 38.4 million followers. “I’m sorry, but like, it’s a virus, I get it, like, I respect it, but at the same time, I’m like, even if everybody gets it, like yeah, people are going to die, which is terrible but like, inevitable?”
The 31-year-old then seemed to backtrack a bit, adding, “I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this right now?" Hudgens has been busy on the platform in recent days, posting everything from makeup and hair looks ("Lockdown vibes," she wrote) and calling on her followers to donate to causes such as Feeding America. "Let’s help each other out rather than freaking the fuck out. Kk?" she posted three days ago.
But it was the comments from the Instagram Live clip that immediately caught fire with followers and other social media users, who were quick to call Hudgens out for not being sensitive enough to the global crisis. Journalist and influencer Yashar Ali was among the most high-profile Twitter users who posted the clip and challenged her on her comments: "What a horrible and heartless message for you to share with the younger people who look up to you."
On Tuesday, Hudgens blamed people for twisting her words, saying, "I realize 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 I am in lockdown and I hope that’s what you guys are doing, too; in full quarantine and staying safe and sane. I don’t take this situation lightly by any means. Stay inside y’all." She followed it up with a formal apology that reads in full: "Hey guys. I'm so sorry for the way I have offended anyone and everyone who has seen the clip from my Instagram live yesterday. 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. I'm sending safe wishes to everyone to stay safe and healthy during this crazy time."
Also on Tuesday, Hudgens wished her followers Happy St. Patrick's Day and said she wished she could be in a pub.
— Vanessa Hudgens (@VanessaHudgens) March 17, 2020
— Yashar Ali(@yashar) March 17, 2020
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