Vanessa Hudgens has landed in hot water thanks to an Instagram live session in which she complains about the novel coronavirus COVID-19—saying, at one point, “Yeah, people are gonna die. which is terrible. But like, inevitable?”
As she started her live session Monday, Hudgens asked how her viewers were doing. “Are you guys freaking out?” the 31-year-old asked. “I am not. You know, it’s just like, be responsible. Be chill, be prepared. I don’t know what else to say. It’s like, there’s nothing else that you can do. Right?”
Later on, it appears a fan named Austin told Hudgens they were getting tested for the virus. Hudgens wished him luck before adding, “You might have it, but you’ll be OK. I mean, considering you’re a younger, healthy person.”
Another fan asked when Hudgens would return to London. “When is anyone going anywhere is the real question,” she replied. “How long is this shit going to last? I don’t know. I predict a month. Someone today said six weeks. But I feel like after that it’ll be fine.”
“Um, yeah, ’til July sounds like a bunch of bullshit,” Hudgens said. “I’m sorry. But like, it’s a virus. I get it. Like, I respect it, but at the same time, even if everybody gets it... Like, yeah, people are gonna die—which is terrible. But like, inevitable?”
“I don’t know,” Hudgens added. “Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this.”
President Trump’s administration recently announced that the pandemic could last through July or August, and that certain national restrictions could extend that long as well. Throughout her Instagram chat Hudgens repeated fans’ questions so viewers would know what she was addressing. In this case, however, it’s unclear. Partway through the video Hudgens noted she’d had a gin and ginger ale before she started. “I think I made it a bit strong,” she said.
Hudgens’ response to coronavirus has been mixed. The singer recently donated to Feed America and urged her fans to do the same on Instagram—not long after she was seen Wednesday dancing at a Tame Impala concert wearing a face mask.
Backlash against Hudgens’ Instagram video erupted quickly, and on Tuesday, she responded on her Instagram story.
“So yesterday, I did an Instagram Live and I realized today that some of my comments are being taken out of context,” she said. “It’s a crazy time. It’s a crazy, crazy time, and I am at home and on lockdown. And that’s what I hope you guys are doing too. In full quarantine and staying safe and sane. Yeah, I don’t take this situation lightly by any means. I am home. So stay inside, y’all.”
Hudgens also followed up with a separate statement on Twitter. (When reached for comment, a representative for Hudgens referred The Daily Beast to her tweet.)
“Hey guys,” she wrote, “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.”