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Lillian’s Lowdown: Jenna Ortega is allowed to complain

Recently, “Wednesday” star Jenna Ortega has come under fire for comments regarding her part on the show. During an episode of ”Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard,” Ortega was open about her struggles with shooting “Wednesday,” reflecting on her disagreements with the writers over certain lines and scenes, as well as her preference for film over television. Unfortunately, her remarks have opened her up to backlash, with some claiming Ortega is entitled for complaining about a role that got her nominated for a Golden Globe. 

Still, what Ortega is doing is a job. She’s allowed to have thoughts and opinions on her work and discuss that work publicly. 

On “Armchair Expert,” Ortega mentioned that she became “almost unprofessional” by changing lines in order to make them fit her character. She provided the example of the show’s forced love triangle and a line in which Wednesday admonished herself for liking a dress, commenting that she felt she “had to put her foot down.” Some may claim this is deeply difficult and immature behavior, but the reality is that Ortega is participating in a creative endeavor. The projects she works on are inherently collaborative. She’s allowed to have input on a role she plays, especially when the writing reflects directly on her. 

Her criticism is not unwarranted. “Wednesday” fails to retain a lot of the quirk and heart that makes the Addams Family so charming. The show has its moments, but the stilted relationship between Wednesday and Morticia, the shock and revulsion that Wednesday holds for Gomez’s alleged crime and, of course, the widely criticized love triangle that fell flat, leaves the show lacking. Its characterization of the Addams Family makes them feel less “creepy and kooky” and more like a clone that came out a little wrong. Had the show not had Ortega’s criticism, it may have felt even more like a soulless revival of a beloved set of characters. In fact, it might do the show some good if she remarked on its writing choices more often. 

Ortega is not spoiled or whiny for saying that she changed some lines, was stressed out by some aspects of the show or prefers performing in film rather than television. It’s okay for her to voice her opinions about a project she participates in. Yes, she gets paid a large amount of money for a job that a lot of people would be ecstatic to have — and she recognizes this, reflecting on her mother’s job as a nurse and the sacrifice it requires — but what she does is still a job. 

Every job comes with something to complain about, and most people express their dissatisfaction somehow. This does not intrinsically mean that a person who complains about their job is ungrateful for the opportunity or despises everything about their work. It just means that they don’t like that specific part of their job. That shouldn’t change just because Ortega is in the public eye. 

Lillian Barry is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to share your thoughts? Let Lillian know by tweeting her at @lillianbarry_.

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