At 20 years old, Jenna Ortega is an up-and-comer in Hollywood. Even as a young adult, the star of the new Netflix series Wednesday is already establishing herself as a scream queen. However, now that she’s in the limelight, the actress is discovering that sharing behind-the-scenes info can be problematic.
The actress just revealed the full story about an important scene in the new series. Now that fans know what was going on behind the scenes, many people are criticizing Ortega.
However, we think fans are pointing the blame at the wrong person. In fact, the star’s admission is highlighting a much bigger problem in Hollywood and across America. Ortega is shining a light on why hustle culture needs to end.
It’s Time To End Hustle Culture
In an interview with NME, Ortega dished about her new role as Wednesday Addams. The actress spoke openly about how she relates to her character, what it was like to work with Tim Burton on a few episodes, and her experience filming a key scene in the new series while sick with COVID.
While Wednesday Addams has been portrayed as a loner in previous renditions of the character, Netflix’s Wednesday casts the teenager in a more interesting and complex light.
Although Wednesday is a sinister character who can’t attend public high school, she does make friends (sort of) at her new boarding school, Nevermore Academy.
In fact, she develops a love interest with a “normie,” Tyler Galpin. In the now famous dance scene, Tyler is with Wednesday as she performs her amazing dance to “Goo Goo Muck.”
The problem is Ortega was sick while filming the scene. As the actress admitted, “Yeah, I woke up and it’s weird. I never get sick and when I do it’s not very bad. I had the body aches. I felt like I’d been hit by a car and that a little goblin had been let loose in my throat and was scratching the walls of my esophagus.”
What’s more problematic is that the producers knew she was sick. After taking a COVID test on set, Ortega shared, “They were giving me medicine between takes because we were waiting on the positive result.”
The actress went on to say that since she wasn’t feeling well, she knew the dance scene could have been better. “I asked to redo it but we didn’t have time,” Ortega remarked. “I think I probably could have done it a bit better.”
In an email to NME, the production company behind Wednesday, MGM, confirmed that “strict COVID protocols were followed and once the positive test was confirmed production removed Jenna from set.”
Putting Blame On The Wrong Person
After Ortega admitted to being sick while filming, fans and the internet took the opportunity to bash the young actress. Many social media posts include comments blaming Ortega for going into work that day. While the actress is known for being a hard worker, people began pointing out the problems with hustle culture.
But is Ortega really the one to blame? We live in a culture that prioritizes pushing through pain, sickness, grief, mental illness, and other ailments in order to produce. After all, production is what’s viewed as most important in our society.
We praise people for their list of accomplishments and accolades. People are celebrated for what they have done, not necessarily for the type of person they are. In our society, hustle culture is celebrated.
In the case of Ortega, she admitted that she woke up with body aches. It even appears that she was obviously not feeling well to the crew because someone was giving her medicine in between takes while they were waiting on her COVID test results.
The question is, did Ortega have a choice to stay home when she woke up or go home once it was obvious to the crew that she was sick?
A Symptom Of A Bigger Problem
Let’s think about it. The actress is only twenty years old. She doesn’t have the cache or power that someone like Tim Burton has on set. On top of that, Ortega was under contract to film.
Plus, MGM had a specific protocol that they’re following for COVID. It sounds like Ortega was just following their rules, as MGM shared in the email to NME.
Plus, let’s not forget that money and a production schedule are at stake. If filming was delayed, money would be lost. If Ortega tested positive for COVID, she would have to be isolated for a period of time, which would further delay the production schedule.
What was Ortega supposed to do? She followed protocols set by the company filming Wednesday. The producers were the ones who had Ortega film the scene for the fifteen minutes or so it took to get the positive result.
It’s a problem that people throughout America face. Many individuals in our society are forced to go to work when they’re sick because they can’t afford to take time off.
Not only do many people lose money while taking sick leave, some even lose their jobs when they didn’t show up to work. For many essential workers and low-wage employees, their livelihood depends on working regardless of how they feel.
While Ortega may not be a low-wage worker, she is a young actress who would most likely face hurdles going up against giants like MGM and Netflix. Instead of blaming the Wednesday star, it’s time we end hustle culture.
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