‘Wednesday’ faces backlash over Jenna Ortega’s COVID dance scene


Netflix series Wednesday has been criticised after it was revealed Jenna Ortega had COVID while filming the show’s viral dance sequence.

In episode four, titled Woe What A Night, Wednesday (Ortega) and her fellow students attend Nevermore Academy’s annual Rave’N dance, where she performs a dance routine soundtracked by The Cramps single ‘Goo Goo Muck’.

Speaking to NME, Ortega revealed she had COVID while filming the scene. “I’d gotten the song [‘Goo Goo Muck’] about a week before and I just pulled from whatever I could… it’s crazy because it was my first day with COVID so it was awful to film.

“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 oesophagus. They were giving me medicine between takes because we were waiting on the positive result.”

She added: “I asked to redo it but we didn’t have time. I think I probably could have done it a bit better…”

MGM, the production company behind Wednesday, confirmed to NME via email that “strict COVID protocols were followed and once the positive test was confirmed production removed Jenna from set”.

Viewers have since criticised the show’s production for allowing Ortega to film the scene when she was showing symptoms. “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,” one viewer wrote on Twitter.

Another added: “Jenna Ortega filming that dance scene while she had COVID is not impressive, it’s horrible. Absolutely callous disregard for her co-workers.”

You can check out more reactions below.

In a four-star review of Wednesday, NME wrote: “If there’s one thing fans of The Addams Family should know before watching Netflix reboot Wednesday, it’s to expect the unexpected.

“Yes, the look – pigtails, pale skin, pinstripes – is similar to the ‘90s classic. Yes, she remains po-faced and prickly. Yes, it’s still set in a creepy mansion. But dip a toe beyond the first few episodes, and you’ll find a very different Wednesday to the one we’ve come to know.”

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