After High School Musical 2 broke records when it premiered on the Disney Channel, it was only a matter of time before one of the stars ended up making the tabloids for some sort of scandal, right? Generally, I wouldn’t consider the news of Vanessa Hudgens’ nude photos surfacing on the internet to be worth reporting here at TV Blend, but as the images have resulted in some startling rumors regarding the third installment of the High School Musical trilogy, it now falls into my territory.
Blogs across the internet have been reporting that US Weekly, the celebrity and entertainment gossip/news magazine said that Disney fired Hudgens, who plays Gabriella in the popular TV musicals, and is replacing her with “Cheetah Girls” singer, Adrienne Bailon. The story itself doesn’t appear to be on US Weekly’s website so either it came from the actual magazine and was never on the site, or the site pulled the article shortly after posting it. There’s also the possibility is that it never existed to begin with.
Regardless, it appears that the rumor is false. UsMagazine.com posted a story yesterday which contradicts what other sites have been reporting. US stated that according to a spokesperson for the Disney Channel, “Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she's learned a valuable lesson." The source went on to say that it’s a policy not to comment on ongoing negotiations.
MSNBC.com ran a similar story, also confirming that Disney wasn’t dumping Hudgens over the photos.
Hudgens has apologized for the photos, saying, “I want to apologize to my fans, whose support and trust means the world to me. I am embarrassed over this situation and regret having ever taken these photos. I am thankful for the support of my family and friends."
For those of you who’ve never seen the High School Musical movies and might be wondering why such a big fuss is being made over the photos, these movies are as squeaky clean as any other Disney movie. Hudgens’ character is a modern-day made-for-TV live-action version of Ariel, Belle or Cinderalla. Imagine if they had a similar scandal and you might get a better idea as to why Disney would even consider replacing Hudgens after half the internet-viewing public saw her naked.
While Disney has a good, clean, family-friendly reputation to uphold, its likely that they’re also thinking about the ratings for the final High School Musical movie, which should be released some time next year. Hudgens plays the lead female character. Replacing her would probably have a devastating effect on the ratings and it’s likely that the Disney Channel is taking that into account when deciding how to proceed with the situation.