What makes Jenna Ortega think she can publicly trash her employer and get away with it?
Everybody and everything — that’s what.
Such is the punishment-free, cowering-in-terror, you-do-you, be-well world we live in.
The 20-year-old star of Netflix’s massive hit “Wednesday” — already a national treasure in her own mind — recently said on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast that her behavior at work was “unprofessional.”
But Ortega wasn’t on a teary-eyed apology tour atoning for her sins. No, she was extolling her rotten behavior as a virtue.
On the podcast, the actress — who’s also in “Scream VI” — discussed how, like an authoritarian dictator, she was a self-appointed script doctor on “Wednesday” and that she deserves the utmost thanks from the actual paid, unionized writers for bettering their thoughtless schlock.
“There were times on that set where I even became almost unprofessional in a sense where I just started changing lines,” Ortega said, proudly citing the sort of actions that would get anybody else in any other profession fired.
Jenna Ortega said on Dax Shepard’s podcast, “Armchair Expert,” that her behavior on the set of “Wednesday” was “unprofessional.”REUTERS
“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.”
Some of those things: “[Wednesday] being in a love triangle? It made no sense. 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.’”
Jenna, you’re in a mediocre spin-off of “The Addams Family” that’s best known for a flailing-arms dance on TikTok. Nothing about it makes sense.
When the writers are saying to you, “Wait, what happened to the scene?,” you have crossed an obvious line and are no longer doing your job.
Ortega’s character Wednesday’s dance became a social media sensation.©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection
Ortega’s egotistical nonsense is a throwback to Katherine Heigl’s petulance in the early days of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
The then-29-year-old starlet was already known for being difficult when, in 2008, she very publicly took herself out of Emmy Awards contention.
“I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination … In addition, I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials,” she told the LA Times.
A k a I’m amazing, everybody else around me sucks.
Heigl decided to leave the show in 2010, and her career has, rightfully, been on the fritz ever since.
In 2015 she played a character named Mona Champagne in the film “Home Sweet Hell” that I’ve just learned exists. And who could forget the more recent “The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature,” or “Firefly Lane”? (Answer: just about everyone.)
All-powerful “Grey’s” creator Shonda Rhimes shed no tears.
While doing press for her hit “Scandal” four years later, Rhimes told the Hollywood Reporter, “There are no Heigls in this situation,” adding, “I don’t put up with bulls – – t or nasty people. I don’t have time for it.”
Bravo to Shonda for not suffering any fools or divas, but many in the industry seem only too happy to put up with Ortega.
Katherine Heigl was known for being difficult on the set of “Grey’s Anatomy.”ABC
She’s still on the rise, with at least four movies in the works.
Insanely, the actress has been made an executive producer on the second season of “Wednesday.”
It’s like if your boss discovered you sitting in her office chair shouting orders at your peers and said, “You’re absolutely right. You’re in charge now!”
Steven DeKnight, a producer whose credits include “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and who isn’t working on “Wednesday,” did, however, have the guts to call out Ortega — sort of.
On Twitter, he declared her comments “entitled” and “toxic,” but then had to walk it back after an outcry from fans.
Ortega is “fantastic” and the whole uproar is a “learning experience for everyone” DeKnight later tweeted as a mea culpa.
Diva behavior isn’t new in Hollywood, or Broadway, or opera, but it used to amount to the artistically rooted outbursts of supernaturally talented people who’d been in the business for decades.
Singer Maria Callas’ temper was legendary. “Network” star Faye Dunaway was angrily hurling objects at crew members of the play “Tea at Five” as little as four years ago (she got canned). Patti LuPone would go off at cellphones, lack-of-masks and Andrew Lloyd Webber with the ferocity of Evita.
But to publicly proclaim that your co-workers stink is tantamount to treason — especially when said co-workers are responsible for the breakout role that saved you from video game voice overs.
Ortega should be criticized for her ungrateful comments — instead she’s being celebrated.
That’s how we do things in consequences-free, lunatics-running-the-asylum 2023.
‘Wednesday’ star Jenna Ortega’s rude comments should kill her career — but they won’t
She’s ‘unprofessional’ — and shockingly proud of it.