Speaking to Dax Shepard on a recent episode of his Armchair Expert podcast, actress Jenna Ortega shed light on her approach to Netflix’s incredibly successful comedy-horror series Wednesday, in which she played the titular character of the macabre-obsessed goth icon Wednesday Addams.
Since the show’s November 2022 release, it’s become the streaming platform’s second-biggest English-language series ever. So, it’s safe to say that fans were delighted to hear in January 2023 that Wednesday would be renewed for a second season. But, following some of Ortega’s recent revelations, it seems as though things could have gone a very different way had she not put her “foot down” after reading the script.
“When I read the entire series, I realised, ‘Oh, this is for younger audiences’,” the 20-year-old told Shepard. “When I first signed onto the show, I didn’t have all the scripts. I thought it was going to be a lot darker. It wasn’t… I didn’t know what the tone was, or what the score would sound like,” Ortega continued.
The actress went on to explain that “everything that Wednesday does, everything I had to play, did not make sense for her character at all. There was a line about a dress she has to wear for a school dance and she says, ‘Oh my god I love it. Ugh, I can’t believe I said that. I literally hate myself.’ I had to go, ‘No.’ There were times on that set where I even became almost unprofessional in a sense where I just started changing lines,” Ortega shared with her fellow actor and podcast host.
“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?’ And I’d have to go and explain why I couldn’t go do certain things.”
Explaining one side of her behaviour, Ortega also revealed that she had grown “very, very protective” of Wednesday. “You can’t lead a story and have no emotional arc because then it’s boring and nobody likes you. When you are little and say very morbid, offensive stuff, it’s funny and endearing. But then you become a teenager and it’s nasty and you know it. There’s less of an excuse.”
Not only is this ballsy type of work ethic and integrity impressive from such a young actress—one that is reminiscent of Zendaya’s dedicated approach to her own career projects—but it also further proves that Ortega gives thought to every single aspect of her role as the youngest but yet unquestionably more interesting member of the Addams family.
This trait was already noticeable back in December, when Ortega had mentioned how she really felt about the Netflix series’ love triangle storyline between Wednesday, barista Tyler (played by Hunter Doohan) and artist Xavier (Percy Hynes White).
Speaking to Etalk about the dynamic, the actress divulged that she had confronted the writers about the idea, only for them to reassure her that it wasn’t going to be a traditional love triangle. “As far as the boys went, I had to accept it,” Ortega explained. “Honestly I’m going to fight this love triangle thing so hard because this is just me being protective. I don’t think Wednesday would ever be in a love triangle.”
Speaking further about the whole ordeal to MTV News, Ortega added: “Now that Tyler’s off the table, I feel like she’s off boys for a while. I feel like her and Xavier are just getting to a safe place. I think there’s an opportunity there for a really sweet platonic relationship.”
She continued: “Because I don’t think it’s shown often enough, men and women having safe platonic relationships that don’t become romantic and are just genuine, almost sibling-like relationships. I think that’d be wonderful to see.”
When it comes to different romantic tropes, love triangles are one of the most popular and recognisable across all forms of fiction. Books, movies and TV shows alike—if there’s romance involved, there’s a pretty decent chance you’ll be faced with a love triangle as well. And even more so when it comes to the genre of young adult fiction.
But on top of being incredibly predictable, which isn’t surprising considering how overdone they have become, they’re also almost always heteronormative and employ sexist stereotypes and clichés. And, on the rare occasion that a love triangle involves two women pining for the same man, the women are often pitted against each other, destroying any friendship they had to win the affections of a male figure.
That’s why it’s so refreshing and important for more individuals in the industry to speak up and put their foot down like Ortega did when faced with similar tropes that simply don’t work with a show or movie’s story yet are still used countless times because they sell.
Whether the Wednesday writers take the actress’ opinion into consideration for season two remains to be seen, but it seems like they might not have much of a choice considering the fact that Xavier’s character might not be making a comeback at all…
Percy Hynes White might not be the broody, arty heartthrob you thought he was. The actor, most recently known for playing Xavier Thorpe in Netflix’s hit Wednesday is facing sexual assault allegations. Multiple women have started to come out against the 21-year-old actor, primarily circulating around a Twitter thread started by @milkievich on Wednesday 18 January 2023.
The accusations are numerous and include coercion of minors, sexual assault allegations, and even the use of racist slurs and offensive memes. Here’s everything you need to know about the recent claims.
It all started when the Twitter user known only as @milkievich came out with claims that White had allegedly assaulted her and her friends while he was living in Toronto, Canada when he was 17. This led to several other women coming out with their own unpleasant experiences with the actor; their stories were quoted by @milkievitch in her thread, which has since been deleted.
Essentially, the star is accused of predatory behaviour, having allegedly gone as far as to throw parties with the explicit intention of getting girls drunk or high, in order to eventually take advantage of them. These “basement parties” are said to have been thrown by White and his friends who were all aged between 17 and 20, while the victims were aged 13 to 17.
To make matters worse, another more recent thread included screenshots from a girl who claims that White slept with her while she was underage, supposedly completely aware of the fact that the victim was 14, and not aged 16, a number he was reportedly telling people to make himself feel better.
The second viral thread also includes photos, the contents of which are inappropriate and uncomfortable especially when considering the accusation that these images were sent to group chats that included minors.
On TikTok, another account has since surfaced which continues to back up the allegations previously made against the actor. These videos were shared by Twitter user @newdiaryentry. The latest reported victim claims to have gone to high school with White and that this was already the kind of behaviour that he was “notoriously known for” there. It was also said that an attempt to take Percy to court had been made by one of the alleged victims but nothing was done about it. His recent success on the show may be why the claims have resurfaced—now with more weight behind them.
On top of the sexual and physical allegations against the 21-year-old, accusations of him making racist claims and displaying other signs of problematic behaviour are also beginning to surface with a shocking video featuring White using a racial epithet making the rounds on TikTok. Be warned, the video is uncomfortable to watch and has him perpetrating simulated violence against a person of colour in a very weird, racist, 50s America roleplay.
In what seems like a neverending list of accusations against the actor, there’s also a screen recording from Instagram which shows his account liking imagery that is often associated with white supremacy and nazism.
Since these claims have been made, the Twitter account associated with a lot of the screenshots allegedly shared by the actor has been deleted. White has also restricted his comments on Instagram, presumably to silence the discussion revolving around his conduct. The official Instagram account for Wednesday has also gone quiet since the surfacing of allegations.
It’s unclear as to whether White will return for the show’s highly anticipated second season and if legal action will be taken against him by any of the women who have spoken out online.