Wednesday was the Netflix series of 2022, so much so that it became one of the streaming giant’s most-viewed shows of all time. Oh, and it went on to receive 12 Emmy nominations, no big deal. But as netizens start getting their spook on for the show’s highly anticipated second season—although it should be noted that the Hollywood writers’ strikes probably mean we’ll have to wait until 2024—there seems to be renewed controversy surrounding Canadian actor Percy Hynes White, who played Xavier Thorpe in the comedy horror’s first season.
It’s recently been confirmed that the 21-year-old was written out of Wednesday due to the many sexual assault allegations that were made against him and posted online at the start of the year. A source close to his family, who split their time between homes in Toronto and Newfoundland, confirmed the news to the Daily Mail.
Emmy-award nominee Hynes White had been a rising star before the allegations emerged in a now-deleted tweet posted by an anonymous user on 18 January. The alleged victim claimed she had been sexually assaulted by the actor at a party he was hosting, and further accused him of organising the event with the sole purpose of getting women drunk enough so that they would have sex with him.
Shortly after, multiple other women came out with similar claims against the Wednesday star.
Months after the worrying accusations flooded the internet, Hynes White himself took to social media to address them. On Thursday 8 June, the actor shared a statement on his Instagram story alleging that these “false” claims were nothing but “misinformation.”
“Hi everyone. There’s something I need to clarify,” he began the message. “Earlier this year, somebody I’ve never met started a campaign of misinformation about me online. Because of this, my family has been doxxed, and my friends have received death threats.”
“Underage photos of me were used, and examples of me acting in character were presented as hateful,” White continued. “My friend Jane was falsely portrayed as a victim, and her attempts to set the record straight have been ignored. She gave me permission to include her in this message.”
“The rumors are false. I can’t accept the portrayal of me as someone bigoted, or criminally negligent of people’s safety,” the young actor went on to add. “These are the kind of baseless, harmful claims that can create mistrust toward victims.”
His parents, both of whom are actors and writers, have also strongly denied the allegations. Hynes White’s father, the actor and novelist Joel Thomas Hynes, posted his support for his son and described him as “wrongly accused.”
“I used to quite blindly subscribe to the old adage that where there’s smoke there must be fire. But if these past few months have made anything absolutely clear, it’s that where there’s smoke (even if there’s a whole lot of it) sometimes that’s all it is—smoke,” the 47-year-old wrote about his son.
He added: “If publicly offering my support for my kind and gentle, massively talented son equates to me throwing myself to the wolves—so be it, come what may. […] Malcolm X once famously stated ‘I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.’ When all this smoke clears (and it eventually must), I’ll still be here, standing beside my son and holding firm to the one adage worth safeguarding—that truth is perpetually moving toward the light. So come on, let there be light.”
The post was reshared by Hynes White’s mother, Sherry White. Then in March, his Wednesday co-star Jenna Ortega, who plays the title character in the series, also came out in support of Hynes White during an appearance on the Armchair Expert podcast in which she spoke affectionately of sharing an apartment with him during filming, which took place in Romania for months.
Ortega explained, “Literally, we mothered each other. So it’s like whenever someone was busier, like going through something, we were there.”
Although the actor will not be returning to Wednesday, he does have other projects in the pipeline, including Winter Spring Summer or Fall, a romantic comedy filmed with Ortega in Utah earlier this year.
Speaking to Daily Mail, the insider source went on to add: “Percy [Hynes White] is a wonderful young man, that’s the truth. He never took part in any of the false claims against him, which were on Twitter and never followed up or substantiated. Percy is a respectful, gracious, talented actor, a true professional. He’s unfailingly polite to all, including the crew and his fans, most of whom are loyal to him as it should be.”
They concluded: “People in the business know his character and talent. Netflix and the show Wednesday should be ashamed of themselves for treating him so unfairly.”