Vanessa Hudgens is being admonished for labelling the coronavirus COVID-19 response "bullshit" and saying the deaths it causes "inevitable".
The 31-year-old actor has starred in films including Sucker Punch, Spring Breakers and The Princess Switch, and made the coronavirus comments in an Instagram Live video.
"Um, yeah, until July sounds like a bunch of bullshit. I'm sorry," Hudgens said of measures US authorities are taking in response to the pandemic.
"It's a virus, I get it. Like, I respect it. But at the same time, like, even if everybody gets it, like, yeah, people are gonna die, which is terrible but, like, inevitable?
"I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't be doing this right now."
At the time of publishing, coronavirus has killed nearly 8000 people, with nearly 200,000 cases worldwide.
"How dare she! I'm livid because her millions of young fans will listen," health and wellness writer Amy Capetta tweeted about Hudgens' comments.
"There goes her career tbh. People aren't to forget this," added YouTuber Blaire White.
"At first I was thinking 'she's young', but the girl is 31. She's too old for that kind of stupid," said author Julie Gunlock.
Other Twitter users claimed the High School Musical star was "cancelled" over the comments.
In response to the criticisms, Hudgens posted another Instagram Live video and said her comments were "taken out of context" and made during a "crazy, crazy time".
However, she later issued a written apology on Twitter.
"I'm so sorry for the way I have offended anyone and everyone who has seen the clip from my Instagram Live," Hudgens said.
"I realise my words were insensitive and not at all appropriate for the situation our country and the world are in right now. This has been a huge wake-up call about the significance my words have, now more than ever."
Although Hudgens' videos are no longer viewable on Instagram, copies of them remain streamable via other social media users' accounts.