Some excerpts from a FOXNews.com articleFollowing the appearance on the Web of a nude photo of Vanessa Hudgens, an insider reportedly said the "High School Musical" actress once sent risqué photos of herself to Nickelodeon star Drake Bell. "Drake says he never received those photos," Bell's rep, Jill Fritzo, told People regarding the images that began hitting blogs last Thursday.
The Walt Disney Co. is sticking with the star of its wildly successful "High School Musical" franchise, despite her "lapse in judgment" in posing for racy photos that were leaked to the Internet.
Vanessa Hudgens apologized Friday for the photos, which show her smiling as she posed naked and in underwear in a bedroom with a red curtain behind her. "Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment," said Disney Channel spokeswoman Patti McTeague. "We hope she's learned a valuable lesson."
Personally, I hope Disney will learn a "valuable lesson" about putting money before morals. I hope they loose the trust of parents across the country; the would-be revenue from HSM3 and its subsequent related marketing (tours, toys, DVDs, CDs, etc).
What Vanessa Hudgens did is WRONG. Unless she took the nude photo after December '06, she was also a minor. Furthermore, her "lapse of judgment" is more than that. It's a betrayal of the values her character represents. Gabriela Montez is a wholesome girl. Hudgens obviously isn't. Why would Disney betray parents seeking to teach their children good values?!?
That's a rhetorical question -- I already know the answer. It's MONEY! If Disney can make this story go away quick enough, everyone will have forgotten Hudgens' porno pic by the time all of the CDs, tours and toys hit the shelves for Christmas. It will be ancient history by the time High School Musical 3 is released. After all, the sequel to 2006's hit High School Musical premiered on Disney Channel last month attracting more than 17 million viewers. That made it the summer's most-watched TV program.
Hudgens is a superstar among the preteen set, and Disney has spun a wide merchandising net around the series with albums and concert tours. She and Efron date in real life, making them big attractions for celebrity magazines. The films' wholesome nature — for a company that has made its name on family-friendly fare for generations — is a big part of its success. Parents can relax with their children watching, knowing it won't make for any uncomfortable questions. If Disney executives had cut ties to Hudgens, not wanting the company's name associated with anything not G-rated, they would have run the risk of upsetting a formula that has made the company millions upon millions of dollars.
BUT, Disney is once again talking out of both sides of their marketing mouth. One on hand, they want to present themselves as a company that cares about family values. On the other, they are counting on the cash cow that Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron and the gang represent. It's in Disney fiscal interest to support Vanessa Hudgins. BUT, it's in our best interest, as parents, to tell Disney they should drop Hudgens and support family values, period.
I'm not trying to be mean to Vanessa. She may be full of remorse. Hudgens told her fans she was sorry. "I am embarrassed over this situation and regret having ever taken these photos," she said. "I am thankful for the support of my family and friends." BUT, an apology doesn't excuse what she did -- and it doesn't mean she should not face the consequences of her actions -- especially in light of the developing story that his is NOT the first time she has posed for and sent salacious pictures to sexual interests. And the first set of pictures were taken when she was a minor.
As for comments made by fans and parents of fans...
"That's her private life, not her public life. That picture got leaked by somebody who broke a trust with her," said Michele Smith of Westborough, Mass., whose 8-year-old daughter Kathryn is a devoted "High School Musical" fan.Mrs. Smith, morals are morals. Vanessa Hudgens showed a lack of moral fiber by taking nude photos of herself. Remember, she isn't married to Zac Efron. They have NO business communicating with each other in a sexual manner outside the bounds of marriage. Private or public life, it's WRONG.
Dropping her from future movies or other "High School Musical" projects would not only be unfair to Hudgens but to fans such as Kathryn, Smith said. "If Vanessa is not in the movie, my daughter would not be so excited to see it," she said. Smith said she hopes that Kathryn doesn't hear about the photo but, if she does, she's prepared to talk about it. She'll say that it's something private for Vanessa that shouldn't have been shared.This Mrs. Smith also missed the point. This story is really about sexual relations between unmarried teenagers. Mrs. Smith, do you want Kathryn having sex with some random teenage boy when she's 17 or 18? I doubt it. If you TRULY espouse traditional family values to your daughter, you'll tell Kathryn to wait until she's married. Vanessa Hudgens is NOT the poster child for those values!
The best thing for Disney was to do nothing, said Michael Levine, a Hollywood image consultant and author of 18 books. "What they shouldn't do is make a bigger deal out of it than is necessary," he said. "The picture is not salacious."So, just because Vanessa is not doing a Paris Hilton head-bob or a Pamela Anderson groan-fest, there's nothing wrong with what she did? Mr. Levine, I seriously question your moral acuity. Do you even know the difference between right and wrong?
The bottom line is that Vanessa Anne Hudgens is obviously not the typical girl-next-door -- unless you live next door to the Playboy Mansion. Hudgens is not the poster child for the kind of values portrayed in HSM or HSM2. Her "lapse of judgment" should have REAL CONSEQUENCES.
Here are a couple questions to ponder --
How many parents would so easily excuse their young teenage daughters sending amateur porn pics to boys via email or over the Internet?Disney should fire Vanessa Hudgens and send a message to all other would-be juvenile seductresses: "We will support traditional family values. If you're not on-board with those values, then you're not on-board with us."
How many parents would say it's a private matter if their son was receiving porn pics from an underage girl they worked with for a week or two?