Hollywood writers on strike for a better union contract have made an example of Wednesday star Jenna Ortega.
The 20-year-old’s portrayal of deadpan goth girl Wednesday Addams in the hit Netflix spinoff of The Addams Family has made her a break-out star.
But her casual admission to a podcaster that she “just started changing lines” from Wednesday scripts that she found “did not make any sense” struck many as entitled and unprofessional.
As the strike between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers heats up, the remarks by Ortega have found their way onto the picket lines.
At a WGA picket line this week outside Netflix, one cheeky striker held a sign that read “Without writers, Jenna Ortega will have nothing to punch up!”
On Monday night, when the decision to strike was announced, BoJack Horsemanwriter Nick Adams tweeted, “Jenna Ortega better be back from NY for her afternoon shift on the picket line.”
“Rewriting is writing! See you at the line, Jenna!” added Karen Joseph Adcock, a writer on The Bear.
In March, as a guest on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast, Ortega boasted that in filming the runaway hit show she went rogue and changed dialogue without consulting the unionized writers on set.
“The script supervisor thought I was going with something and then I had to sit down with the writers, and they’d be like, ‘Wait, what happened to the scene?’” she told Shepard. “And I’d have to go and explain why I couldn’t go do certain things.”
“There were times on that set where I even became almost unprofessional in a sense where I just started changing lines,” she added.
Fans of Ortega came to her defense on Twitter, saying striking writers are using her rogue rewrites to publicize their issues with management.
One Ortega defender tweeted, “Wow making a young woman in Hollywood your scapegoat instead of turning attention to the millionaires actually cussing it! New and original.”
Another tweeted, “Jenna was the reason that show was popular, not the shit writing that everyone agreed was the weakest part, good luck with the strike tho.”
Wednesday has been renewed for a second season, and Ortega is in the running for a Best Actress Emmy.
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