Innocence is a fleeting thing in the world of teen pop - remember how quickly Britney went from schoolgirl to sexpot? Film studios try to keep their young female stars sweet and wholesome, but Vanessa proves how tricky that act can be.
For the first two weeks of September 2007, High School Musical actress Vanessa Hudgens battled the most intense controversy of her career. A man had illegally leaked her nude selfies to the National Enquirer, and the photos later appeared on the gossip forum Oh No They Didn't and websites like Perez Hilton. Today, everyone from prominent figures to casual Twitter users would rightfully criticize this behavior as sexist and unethical, but in 2007, media piled on Hudgens.
"It is with extreme sadness that nude photos of High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens have been making the rounds on the Internet," announced blogger Just Jared. The Associated Press followed up with an article lambasting Hudgens for differing from her High School Musical character Gabriella: "Gabriella and Troy coo, they make googly eyes, they barely kiss. They certainly don't show off nude pictures."
Compounded by media, the cultural expectation of Hudgens to be perfect like Gabriella, a fictional character in a universe where teens broke out in song and dance, was shattered by the leak. At the time, one Urban Dictionary user updated the definition of "Vanessa Hudgens" to: "Before her 'incident', Vanessa Hudgens was every girl's role model. She stars in Disney Channel's hit movie High School Musical. Recently, nude pictures of her were leaked on the internet. Unfortunately, girls now think of her as the skank who doesn't shave. Please search up shave if you have any questions." It remains the most popular definition of Hudgens on the site to this day.
Much of this slut-shaming rhetoric came from people who viewed the nude photos as Hudgens's mistake, not a crime committed by a hacker. Instead of calling the pictures revenge porn, the Daily News described one as a "saucy snapshot." The idea that it might be wrong to publish a woman's personal property without her consent was a foreign concept to mainstream media outlets.
Thankfully, this would play out much differently today. After hackers illegally released nude pictures of Hudgens, Jennifer Lawrence, and other celebrities in a 2014 event now known as "The Fappening," Twitter users mobilized to combat the bloggers publishing the images. Hilton quickly removed the photos from his site. "So going forward I will not post any intimate photos like that," he confessed in an apology video. "I just think it's the right thing to do, for them, for me, for everybody, to not perpetuate that."
Vanessa, now 27, took on edgier roles in Spring Breakers, Sucker Punch, Machete Kills and The Frozen Ground. Her next role is as Rizzo in the musical TV special Grease: Live alongside DWTS judge Julianne Hough.The actress, who has also had her fair share of drug controversies, admitted in 2009 that the nude photo scandal surrounding her and Zac Efron had massively affected her role prospects.She told Allure magazine: "Whenever anybody asks me, would I do nudity in a film, if I say that it's something I'm not comfortable with, they're like, 'Bulls---, you've already done it.'
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On September 6th, 2007, controversy erupted after provocative photos of Hudgens surfaced online. Two showed her posing in suggestive lingerie, and another showed her nude. A statement from her publicist claims that the photo was taken privately and it was "unfortunate" that they were released on the Internet. Hudgens later apologized, saying that she was "embarrassed over the situation" and regretted having "taken [those] photos." Disney Channel spokeswoman Patti McTeague indicated that Disney will still be working with Hudgens, stating, "Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she's learned a valuable lesson." After the scandal blew over, Hudgens was quoted as saying, "I'm much better now. But truthfully I don't like talking about it. It was something that was meant to be private, and even though it isn't anymore, I'd still like to keep it as private as I can. It was very traumatic, and I am extremely upset it happened. I hope all my fans can learn from my mistake and make smart decisions. But I wouldn't have been able to get through it if it wasn't for my family, friends, and fans, who supported me all along the way". Early speculation that Vanessa Hudgens would be dropped from High School Musical 3 due to her nude photo scandal proved untrue. Although it was reported by OK! Magazine that Vanessa would be replaced by Adrienne Bailon or Sabrina Bryan from the Cheetah Girls in High School Musical 3, Access Hollywood confirmed that the cast was still in negotiations and Vanessa would not be cut from High School Musical 3. "Totally untrue. It is an old rumor," Vanessa's representative told Access, "OK! Magazine never bothered to check the fact with me, but they did call Disney who said it wasn't true, but yet OK! ran it anyway. Apparently, OK! Magazine was having a slow news day."
On September 6, 2007, photos of Hudgens appeared online, one showing her posing in lingerie and another showing her nude. A statement from her publicist claims that the photo was taken privately and it was unfortunate that they were released on the Internet. Hudgens later apologized, saying that she was "embarrassed over the situation" and regretted having "taken [those] photos."Hudgens subsequently released a statement indicating that she declined to comment further on the scandal. OK! magazine speculated that Hudgens would be dropped from High School Musical 3 as a result of the images, but The Walt Disney Company denied this, saying, "Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she's learned a valuable lesson."
In August 2009, another set of pictures showing Hudgens topless emerged on the Internet. Hudgens's representatives did not comment, though her lawyers requested the removal of the pictures from the Internet. In late 2009, Hudgens sued "www.moejackson.com" for posting nude 'self-portrait photographs of her taken on a mobile phone in a private home. Hudgens later commented on the photos' impact on her career in the October issue of Allure with, "Whenever anybody asks me, would I do nudity in a film, if I say that it's something I'm not comfortable with, they're like, 'Bullshit, you've already done it.' If anything, it makes it more embarrassing, because that was a private thing. It's screwed up that someone screwed me over like that. At least some people are learning from my mistake." According to Us Weekly, further pictures were released on the Internet March 15, 2011 as well as a nude video.
We don't know what to say. Vanessa Hudgin's rep has confirmed that a nude photo circulating on the World Wide Web is indeed the 18-year-old "High School Musical" star. Uh oh, Gabriella. This is sort of behavior we'd expect from the likes of Britney Spears or Sharpay. At least it's not a sex tape, right? Wow. We never thought we'd say that when referring to a Disney Channel star. The Slug is really curious if this scandal will affect the chances of "High School Musical 3" happening. In the meantime, maybe Vanessa can star in a revival of "Hair" or something?
Hudgens was left red-faced by not one but two nude photo scandals over the course of her relationship with Efron. The first photos hit the Internet in September 2007 and rumors began to swirl that she would be dropped from High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Whoever said there's no such thing as bad publicity has clearly never been a Disney Channel darling. The leak was made even more controversial by the fact that the actress had allegedly emailed nude photos to former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell a few years earlier.
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Following in the footsteps of adolescent musicals like Hairspray and Bye Bye Birdie, High School Musical revolves around the lives of teenagers. Although similar in content, its true originals came from one of the most popular musicals around: Grease. In this proposed Grease 3, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Even the other members of *NSYNC, Christina Aguilera, Travolta and Newton-John were approached to be involved with the project.
Vanessa Hudgens, famous for playing the role of Gabriella, found herself the victim of two scandalous nude photo incidents during her High School Musical career. In 2007, nude photos of Hudgens were leaked online having been taken personally. She apologized for the photos and indicated that they had been taken in private, leading some to speculate they were for her then-boyfriend and costar Zac Efron. Though some believed that the incident would lead to her dismissal from the series, Disney decided she would remain a part of the cast.
Her second studio album, Identified, was released on July 1, 2008. It sold 22,000 copies in its first week, 12,000 less than V. Despite the drop in sales, the album debuted at number 23 on the Billboard 200, one spot higher than V. The album was preceded by one single, "Sneakernight", which peaked at number 88 on the Billboard Hot 100. Following the commercial failure of the album, Hudgens parted ways with Hollywood Records. Hudgens again reprised her role in High School Musical 3: Senior Year, the first film from the franchise to be released theatrically. It opened at number one at the North American box office in October 2008, earning $42 million in its first weekend, which broke the record previously held by Mamma Mia! for the biggest opening by a musical. The film finished with $252 million worldwide, which exceeded Disney's expectations. 2b1af7f3a8