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Monday Mouse Watch : Will a second set of nude photographs cause Disney to flunk Vanessa Hudgens out of its "High School Musical" franchise?

Monday Mouse Watch : Will a second set of nude photographs cause Disney to flunk Vanessa Hudgens out of its "High School Musical" franchise?

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By late Friday night, the headlines read "Disney Stands by High School Musical Star." Which meant that -- in spite of what a Mouse House spokesperson called " ... obviously a lapse in judgment" -- the Walt Disney Company wasn't going to distance itself from Vanessa Hudgens. Punish this tween favorite just because a single naked picture of her had popped up on the Web.

Of course, that was before reports of other nude photos began surfacing. According to "People" magazine, long before she played Gabriella Montez in the "High School Musical" films, Ms. Hudgens may have sent some racy pictures to "Drake and Josh" star Drake Bell.

Which is why -- as of Sunday evening -- the word coming out of Burbank wasn't quite so hopeful anymore. Given that Disney now seemed to be dealing with a pattern of behavior when it came to Vanessa & nude photographs, studio execs began wondering if it might be wiser for the company to cut this once-thought-to-be squeaky-clean 18-year-old loose.

As one unnamed official that I spoke with last night put it:

"One error in judgement, one youthful indiscretion, the company might be willing to overlook. But if we're now talking about two different sets of nude photos ... Well, that then suggest a pattern of behavior. And the suits aren't going to like the idea of tying the future of their new multi-million franchise to one flaky teenager. Ms. Hudgens better hope that that second set of photographs doesn't ever surface. Otherwise she's going to be out of a job."

Mind you, this photo (as well as these rumors of a second set of nude photographs) couldn't have come at a worse time. Vanessa and her "High School Musical 2" co-star, Zac Efron, are currently touring the globe as part of the worldwide roll-out of this new Disney Channel TV movie. Where Ms. Hudgens -- jsut as she was initially denying reports that the National Enquirer had somehow acquired nude photographs of her -- was quoted in an interview as saying:

"I'm a good kid. I've been brought up with very good morals, and I'm not going to go out and do something I don't want other kids to do ... I love being a role model because, in Hollywood, there aren't a lot of role models to look up to ... The fact that there's a whole bunch of good kids coming out who are now stepping into the limelight, I'm very proud of that."

Mind you, at this point in the "HSM2" press tour, Vanessa has canned all of the "role model" talk. After issuing a statement that said ...

“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.”

... Ms. Hudgens then let her publicist, Jill Fritzo, do the talking for her. Fritzo told members of the press on Friday that ...

"This was a photo which was taken privately ... It is a personal matter and it is unfortunate that this has become public."

Which then led Disney officials to release their own statement. Which read:

"Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she's learned a valuable lesson."

Which Mouse House executives had hoped would be the end of this matter. That this embarassing episode would then play itself out over the weekend. That -- by Monday morning -- the press would have moved on to some other story involving a celebrity that had done something stupid. And as for Vanessa's nude photo ... Well, when it came time to negotiate Ms. Hudgens' contract for "High School Musical 3," studio officials that I've spoken with suggested that the company would have probably used this incident as an excuse to keep Vanessa's fee down for the next film in the series.

But now that rumors of a second set of nude photographs have begun circulating (More to the point, now that the Walt Disney Company -- based on those record-breaking ratings that "High School Musical 2" received last month -- is reportedly toying with the idea of producing two additional sequels to this Disney Channel Original, rather that just the previously announced "High School Musical 3") ... Mickey may have no choice but to drop Vanessa.

As that unnamed source at the studio told me last night:

"Look, it's not as if we're talking about the Paris Hilton sex tape here. If it's just the one nude photo, we can then spin this incident as a single stupid mistake that a naive young performer made. But if this is the first of a series of naked pictures that are going to start turning up on the Web, we're going to have no choice. We're going to have to cut Vanessa loose then. The 'High School Musical' franchise is just too important to the company right now to let one performer's behavior ruin its appeal."

But what do you folks think? Is it alright for the Walt Disney Company to basically overlook Ms. Hudgens' first nude photograph, but then lower the boom if should any additional naked pictures of Vanessa pop up on the Web?

Your thoughts?

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  • This is a tough call .... but the rumored additional photos cannot be simple, tasteful, nudes .... becasue I don't know of anyone who thinks that anyone under the age of 18 should be taking nude pictures at all. Specificaly if they are sending them to boys for fun.

    She needs to be ashmed of herself if that is the type of thing she did when she was younger (pre HSM).

    That said ... shame on the guy she sent them to for telling someone or letting the word get out.

    If shes loses her job .... it may be a little harsh ... but you still gotta pay for your mistakes somehow.

    I don't know if Disney can stand behind a minor who is doing that kind of thing. Which is what she was if there were any pictures taken over a year ago.

  • Comicsfan has it exactly right.  The real problem Disney needs to be concerned with is the dirtbag who leaked this on to the internet.  Vanessa is just being exploited like every other female star on some level.  What's the difference between her taking a photo for her boyfriend and an actress being nude in a movie?  What so the other one is ART so it's ok?  It doesn't change the content of HSM a bit and that's what they really care about.  Now who is evil enough to try and sabotage her career is a much bigger issue for the mouse because here are some key details the press has revealed:

    * It was a betrayal of trust.

    * Those pictures were intended for her boyfriend, Zac Efron.

    * You know, the guy who didn't want HSM3 to be made, manipulated Vanessa into being a co-diva during filming of HSM2, and some rumors peg as being less than interested in the ladies.

    I'm not saying it was him or was anyone connected to him.  I just think it needs to be acknowledged that he's the only person who has nothing to lose and everything to gain by those pictures being leaked.  That makes him a suspect.  THAT'S something Disney needs to address.

  • I'm sorry, but why is High School Musical popular?

    As for Vanessa... that's pretty hot of her to do something like that. Disney should just ignore it and continue business with her. At least they're harmless (originally private) photos that she was teasing a fellow star with. Again, very hot. But, just hilarious that they were leaked. At least she isn't abusing drugs or acting stupidly in public. What she does privately is her own business and losing privacy is just part of being a celebrity I guess..

    ..... I'm sorry, but the High School movies are retarded. Even for kids and teens... That, and Zack Efron is a person you just want to hurt.... repeatedly...... over and over......  

    .....and over.

    oh god.... i just killed him... oh god... oh.. oh...... OH GOD....

  • The dirtbag that leaked these pictures did it to embarrass her and possibly ruin her career. Firing her only lets the dirtbag win.

    Give the girl a break, she made a mistake, that's all.

  • Oh, please.  Donald Duck's been running around pants-less for decades and he's still working at Disney.

    But Vanessa should be sending out a big "Thank you" to Brittney...

  • I wonder if the ratings were even higher this past Saturday when they ran the Dance A-Long version.

    I can just see all those junior high boys watching, and leering, after the found the photos on the web. Then again HSM is very popular with the 9-14 year old girl set, now it's popularity has probably sky-rocketed with the 13-18 year old boy set!

  • First of all - I cannot read the article because my work's internet filter is blocking access to the article site.

    Second - I have a friend who works at Disney and he said that Disney is not going to do anything to Vanessa because she came out immediately and admitted to the photos.  The photos taken were meant to be private and were self-taken by her using her camera's timer.  They were meant for her boyfriend.

  • jnmcnally - Do a search at crazydaysandnights.net.

  • have to agree with xawesomexelix  by saying that I have no idea why these movies are a hit.....

    The music is awful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I don't know why Disney would worry about it at this point. Britney Spears has already taken the gold for ex-mouseketeer turned sex pot. I think that many people are more than willing to forgive this. If it was some male friend of hers who released the first photo, then the sicko award goes to him, not her. If she authorized the release of future pictures then she's advertising herself. Hollywood will love it.

    However if Disney decides she should be disciplined, then send her to my house LOL

  • Hmmmmm....

    Nude photos (tasteful or not) of a minor and most people on here seem to think it's okay? These are children people! Celebrities or not, they are children! Tsk tsk.

    I can just imagine Walt saying, "Annette, don't worry about it. They were tasteful nudes." And yes, I know that's a stretch, but think about it people!

    Whatever happened to right and wrong? Do we not know the difference between being a child and being an adult?

    And anyone who says, "It was just for her boyfriend" needs to wise up. Do you also say that about teenagers who get pregnant? "She only slept with her boyfriend". Or maybe, "He only did drugs with his girlfriend".  Wrong is wrong regardless of who you do it with.

    I understand that people make mistakes, but when we just casually brush it off without saying it's wrong and then allowing them to avoid any consequences, we wind up with the Hiltons and Lohans of the world.

    Brittany doesn't wear underwear under her dress and she's a ***, this kid purposely takes nude pics of herself to give to someone else and she's an angel.

    While I don't think she should be fired, I do think they should sit her down and say, "We do NOT want this to happen again or you will be fired and forced to pay us back whatever you've been paid. This is Disney, not cable tv."

  • Second Set Of Nude Photos May Get Disney To Fire Vanessa Hudgens Disney insider: "One error in judgement, one youthful indiscretion, the company might be willing to overlook. But if we're now talking about two different sets of nude photos...

  • I agree with captainhook91, though I understand the photo that's already "in the wild" to have been taken while she was "legal".  In any case, it's not something that should've been done and the actions need consequences.  There are many parents out there who now have to explain the situation to their kids, and that's something that kids don't need to be exposed to (even if they had already been exposed, they don't need more of it).  They're losing their innocence younger and younger these days and that is a crying shame.

  • You ignoramus freaks. Keeping her in is like telling little girls everywhere to grow up and work in strip bars. Disney should kick out Hudgens, have Sharpay reform, bring in a new bad girl, and a girlfriend for Ryan. They can explain Gabby's abscence by a move, since she said in the 1st film and 2 films that she was always moving away (see What Time Is It lyrics). All of you who want to see the pics are perverts. Hudgens isn't even that great of an actress anyway. And for the person who said that Drake Bell has class, Drake's on a show on Nick. That means that he has NO class whatsoever.

    So, Disney, drop V, and pick up on my brilliant ideas posted above.

  • Important tip for all you young women out there (and I realize there probably aren't a lot of them who read JHM, but still...): I don't care if your boyfriend's the reverend's son and he swears on a stack of Bibles that he won't do it - you give a guy nude photos of yourself, he's gonna share them with his buddies, and these days that means in no time flat they'll be all over the Internet. Don't say you haven't been warned...

    Dumb, dumb move on this girl's part. Not Britney Spears, Paris Hilton,  or Lindsay Lohan dumb, granted, but still dumb. I imagine that Disney will get rid of her; unlike with Radcliffe in Equus or the other aforementioned ladies unintentionally showing off their hoochies to the paparazzi, Disney's got a "family friendly" reputation to protect, and if that means disappointing a bunch of teenyboppers because the "real" Gabriella's not in HSM3, that's her and their tough luck.Still, if Britney and Lindsay are any indication, this shouldn't hurt  Vanessa's career all that much...

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