The actress’ viral comments about the writing on her Netflix hit are making for picket-line fodder.
BY JAMES HIBBERD, MAY 4, 2023
Ortega, who has earned plenty of critical and fandom praise for her deadpan portrayal of O.G. goth girl Wednesday Addams, previously made headlines for saying she helped improve the writing on her show.
“Jenna Ortega better be back from NY for her afternoon shift on the picket line,” BoJack Horseman writer Nick Adams tweeted earlier this week.
The Bear writer Karen Joseph Adcock added, “Rewriting is writing! See you at the line, Jenna.”
And then there was this picket line sign reportedly from House Party writer Brandon Cohen that was spotted by Variety: “Without writers, Jenna Ortega will have nothing to punch up!”
Some Ortega fans have pushed back on social media, saying she’s been made a scapegoat for union issues that have nothing to do with the actress.
Ortega’s comments stem from a March episode of the Armchair Expert podcast where she said: “There were times on that set where I almost became unprofessional in a sense, where I just started changing lines. The script supervisor thought that I was like, going with something, and then I would have to sit down with the writers and they would be like, ‘Wait, what happened to this scene?’ And I would have to go through and explain why I couldn’t do certain things.”
She added, “I don’t think I’ve ever had to put my foot down on a set in the way that I had to on Wednesday. Everything that she does, everything that I had to play, did not make sense for her character at all. Her being in a love triangle made no sense. There was a line about a dress that she has to wear for a school dance and she said, ‘Oh my God, I love it. Ugh, I can’t believe I said that, I literally hate myself.’ And I had to go, ‘No.’”
Ortega has previously noted her schedule on the show was extremely arduous, with the actress working 12 to 14 hours per day for eight months for the eight-episode series. “I did not get any sleep,” she told Variety. “I pulled my hair out. There’s so many FaceTime calls that my dad answered of me hysterically crying.”
Wednesday has been renewed for season two, and Ortega is considered a frontrunner for an Emmy nomination for best actress.
Hollywood writers went on strike earlier this week to try and improve their union contract across several key issues given the evolving state of the industry as it shifts increasingly toward a streaming distribution model.