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.”
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: