Jenna Ortega had COVID-19 while filming ‘Wednesday’ dance

Jenna Ortega’s stunning dance number from the Netflix series Wednesday has gone viral once again — and not in a good way.

The standout moment from the popular show came under scrutiny this week after Ortega’s comments about filming the dance scene while sick resurfaced. In a November interview with NME, the series executive revealed that she filmed the routine while awaiting the COVID-19 test results – which came back positive.

In the famous scene, Ortega’s Wednesday Addams perform a move to the tune of The Cramps’ “Goo Goo Muck” at a high school dance in the fourth episode of the first season, which came out last month. The crazy dance number, choreographed by Ortega himself, has racked up more than 6.7 million views and tons of praise on Twitter and beyond.

In her rave review of “Wednesday,” Times television critic Lorraine Ali hailed Ortega’s dancing as “one of the best television moments of the year.” However, according to Ortega, the fans’ favorite scene was “terrible to film” because she had just contracted COVID-19.

“I woke up and — it’s weird, I never get sick and when I do, it’s not very bad — I had a body ache,” Ortega told NME.

“I felt like I had been hit by a car and like a little goblin had been let loose in my throat and was scratching the walls of my esophagus. They gave me medication between takes because we were waiting for the positive result.”

The 20-year-old actress added that she asked for the scene to be re-shot but was told there was no time. “I think I probably could have done a little bit better,” she said.

MGM Studios, which took over production on “Wednesday,” said in a statement to NME that “strict COVID protocols were followed and as soon as the positive test was confirmed, production removed Jenna from the set.” (The production company made the same statement to The Times on Wednesday.)

But that wasn’t enough for Twitter users, who accused Ortega, episode director Tim Burton and the “Wednesday” producers of acting irresponsibly and putting their colleagues at risk.

“She should have been isolated – not made to continue working while feeling ill.” @jelevision tweeted. “Forcing Jenna Ortega to keep working and spreading Covid on set is so careless of the producers and the studio.”

“That Jenna Ortega has COVID on set and is working unmasked with other unmasked cast members is not inflection.” @hereisviolet tweeted. “She shouldn’t be credited for ‘working while she’s sick.’ The crew above the line might have disabled or killed someone for their irresponsibility.

“The narrative of ‘omg Jenna working so hard’ rather than ‘a bunch of executives not only choreographed 20 years of their own dance and work with Covid, they put every single person on that set at risk ‘, is uh. drives me insane,” @kaicfox tweeted. “Especially as a disabled person having a disabled father in the film industry like if that happened on my father’s set or on a set that I was on we could have died????”

Netflix officials did not comment when contacted by the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. Ortega officials did not immediately respond to Times requests for comment Wednesday.

Pandemic backlash aside, “Wednesday” has been a huge hit for Netflix. The streaming giant announced late last month that spin-off Addams Family broke the platform’s record for most hours in a week for an English-language show, beating the previous record set by Stranger Things season 4 .

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2022-12-07/jenna-ortega-wednesday-dance-covid-19-netflix Jenna Ortega had COVID-19 while filming ‘Wednesday’ dance

Sarah Ridley

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