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'Wednesday' Producer Backtracks To Praise Jenna Ortega After Calling Her 'Entitled And Toxic'

Steven DeKnight, a producer on the Netflix show, was not happy about how Ortega openly talked about how she 'just started changing lines' because they didn't work for her.

Steven DeKnight; Jenna Ortega
Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic/GettyImages; Dominik Bindl/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Wednesday producer Steven DeKnight praised the Netflix show's lead Jenna Ortega after he previously slammed her on social media, describing her as "beyond entitled and toxic."

Ortega, 20, is known for playing the titular character in Wednesday, based on the Addams Family multi-media franchise created by cartoonist Charles Addams.

DeKnight criticized the actress following her interview with Dax Shepard on his Armchair Expert podcast in which she opened up about playing the lead in the macabre coming-of-age comedy horror series.

Describing her attempt at injecting more depth into the character than how it was written, Ortega admitted her approach was not her “proudest moment internally."

She said:

“There were times on that set where I even became almost unprofessional, in a sense, where I just started changing lines."
“The script supervisor thought I was going with something and then I had to sit down with the writers, and they’d be like, ‘Wait, what happened to the scene?’"
"And I would have to go and explain why I couldn’t go do certain things.”

You can listen to the interview, here.

Ortega's comments rubbed DeKnight the wrong way and he made negative comments about her—even though he had never actually worked with her.

Last May after the interview aired, DeKnight took to Twitter and said of Ortega:

"She’s young, so maybe she doesn’t know any better (but she should)."
"She should also ask herself how she would feel if the showrunners gave an interview and talked about how difficult she was and refused to perform the material.”

In response to her comments about "changing lines" on set, he added:

"This kind of statement is beyond entitled and toxic."
"I love her work, but life’s too short to deal with people like this in the business.”

Fans, however, disagreed and a backlash ensued.

Some argued the producer's remarks were indicative of sexism and double standards in Hollywood.

One Twitter user wrote:

"A male actor pushes back on a script, he is labeled as passionate and the conflict is labeled as creative differences."
"An actress does the same thing and is told she should know her place."

Another claimed:

"All I see here is a toxic male putting down a young woman for standing up for her character and herself."

A third wrote:

"Without Ortega there would be no second season. We know it, and the writers and producers know it."
"Sounds like your problem is she can improve upon a process that's eluded you for 20+ years. Maybe you can learn from her instead of whining about it."

After DeKnight was put on blast for his assessment, he walked back his opinion and reiterated the fact Ortega was a "fantastic" actress.

"She's fantastic, which I keep saying over and over. It was an unfortunate gaffe to say that publicly."
"We've all had them. Learning experience for everyone. Me included."

He further stated:

"Absolutely! Again, I can't stress this enough: She's an amazing talent."
"It was just an unfortunate situation to expose creative differences publicly, and also I'll admit that writers are on edge because of the impending strike, myself included."
"A perfect storm."

Team Ortega weighed in with their thoughts following his apology.

Wednesday was greenlit for a second season.

Ortega can currently be seen in the sixth installment of the slasher film franchise, Scream IV.