Actor Jenna Ortega appears in a scene from Netflix’s “Wednesday" in which she had COVID-19.
This is all together icky.
It seems that taking sick days wasn’t the norm on the set of Netflix’s “Wednesday,” as actor Jenna Ortega has revealed that she filmed a scene with others despite having COVID-19 symptoms. The news, originating from an NME interview with Ortega in November, is now picking up steam online thanks to recent backlash.
The idea of Ortega potentially being a superspreader first came about when the music magazine mentioned a viral moment from the teen drama, in which the character Wednesday (Ortega) does a kooky dance around a bunch of extras.
Her jerky jive soon became a hit on TikTok, and users began imitating it on the platform.
“I choreographed that myself!” Ortega told NME last month. “It’s crazy because it was my first day with COVID so it was awful to film.”
After her interviewer expressed some shock over the remark, she continued: “Yeah, I woke up and ... 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. They were giving me medicine between takes because we were waiting on the positive result.”
Ortega attends the world premiere of Netflix's "Wednesday" in November.
NME notes that MGM, the production company behind “Wednesday,” told the magazine that “strict COVID protocols were followed and once the positive test was confirmed production removed Jenna from set.”
It’s unclear if the decision to continue filming came directly from Ortega or at the behest of others. But the fact that she potentially exposed her colleagues to the illness has sparked conversations about the film industry and hustle culture — a type of “performative workaholism,” as The New York Times once put it, in which working hard for many hours is seen as a metric for success.
On Twitter, people reacted to the news with bewilderment, concern and outrage.
“Jenna Ortega proudly talking about how she had covid while filming the dance scene is seriously not the flex she thought it was,” wrote one user.
Check out what others on social media had to say below:
jenna ortega filming a whole scene while waiting for her covid test results AND with obvious symptoms isn’t “professional”, it’s just completely irresponsible
— shir (@cancion_il) December 3, 2022
I'm sorry, so they filmed one of the most pivotal scenes in the show WHILE THEY WAITED ON A POSITIVE COVID TEST???? pic.twitter.com/2B2baI60nB
— Quinton Reviews🎬 (@Q_Review) December 3, 2022
this is a bad thing right? we all agree that this is not some "persevering through hardship" moment, its a why the fuck didn't she get sent home, she could get horrendously sick or infect others kinda moment pic.twitter.com/dBlwOf2ulr
— Lily Simpson is Emotionally Dead like Twltter (@LilySimpson1312) December 3, 2022
According to her, she was in-waiting for the results when they shot that take, when the results came in she was sent home, but tbh I don't understand why she didn't stay home waiting for the result rather than risk contaminating people??
— Artémis 🜏 | FREE PALESTINE 🇵🇸 (@MrsArtemis_) December 3, 2022
America has an obsession with grind culture and always sees ppl risking their lives and other for the sake of a job as "inspirational"
— piss (@stoIenteeth) December 4, 2022
As someone who's worked in production, hearing she was *on set* with Covid is TERRIFYING! There are supposed to be safety measures in place that should prevent this so the fact that she was made to film possibly ill, maskless, in close proximity with cast and crew, is worrying.
— Sam Connor (@artbysconnor) December 4, 2022
Disappointed to learn that Jenna Ortega had COVID symptoms on set but was still allowed to film the Wednesday dance scene while she waited for her positive test result. I wonder how many people got sick? And how many people those people got sick?
— Lola Méndez (@lolaannamendez) November 29, 2022
To everyone saying they want to burn down a studio for making Jenna Ortega perform with covid, just wait til you hear about Judy Garland
— Chamomilly (@millymichaela) December 6, 2022