Vanessa Anne Hudgens, star of the wholesome Disney Channel High School Musical films, has had a rough couple of weeks.  Coming immediately off the monstrous success of High School Musical 2, Ms. Hudgens was hit with an unfortunate photo scandal when a picture of the 18-year-old actress stark naked was released onto the internet.  The photo was meant for private use and the word is that it was specifically meant for her High School Musical co-star Zac Efron, with whom Hudgens has a relationship.  There has been a lot of debate, especially here on BuddyTV, about what this whole scandal means and how it will affect the young actress’s career.  According to a recent BuddyTV poll, fans have mixed views of the situation.

Vanessa Hudgens

Over three thousand BuddyTV users answered our recent poll question, “How will Vanessa Hudgens‘ nude photo impact her career?”  Here’s how you responded:

  • 32% Can Only Help
  • 25% Ruin
  • 20% Sidetrack
  • 20% No Impact

It’s still unclear whether Vanessa Hudgens has been replaced for the upcoming High School Musical 3, the first of the series which will head to theaters.  Some sources are reporting that Disney has already replaced her with “Cheetah Girl”, but I wouldn’t believe that hype just yet.  Disney would be foolish to can a beloved star only because of one semi-scandalous picture and, frankly, I don’t think they will.  The question is, however, if the photo will have any effect in the long run.
Our poll indicates that the most popular opinion is that Vanessa Hudgens will benefit from the nude photo.  Her profile in the mainstream media has certainly been raised.  People are talking about her.  But, here’s the thing that’s important: there’s not a whole lot of negative things to say about the picture.  Once one gets past the shock of the nudity, you realize that there’s nothing negative about her as a person as indicated by this scandal.  It’s not like she was photographed wasted drunk stumbling out of a night club or snorting cocaine off a gigolo’s chest.  The only thing that the photo has done is increase Hudgens’ visibility.  In the short run, it’s possible that her current Disney fan base will be upset and that she’ll be removed from the High School Musical franchise.  But, what High School Musical fans have to realize is that an actress like Hudgens, at some point, has to make the leap out from under the Disney brand.  This scandal should allow that transition to occur fairly smoothly.

That twenty five percent of our users who think the nude photo will ruin her career are simply naïve.  Recently, Vanessa Williams came to Hudgens defense.  Now, a lot of our younger readers may not know that before Vanessa Williams was an accomplished actress she was also embroiled in a nude photo scandal.  No one even thinks about that these days, and Williams has led a steady, decades long career in Hollywood.  There’s no reason Vanessa Hudgens won’t do the same.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of Disney)

Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV