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This Student's Slide Presentation Proves That High School Musical Did Sharpay Dirty

"Mrs. Darbus is a clout chaser."

Posted on September 16, 2019, at 2:02 p.m. ET


In High School Musical — a film I think we can all agree is a timeless classic — we are clearly meant to see the blonde and popular Sharpay Evans as the villain.

But what if we've been wrong all along?

A California student is proving in a viral slide presentation that we've all done Sharpay dirty.

Emily Cacnio, 19, is a musical theater major the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Earlier this year, she had an assignment in English class to present an argument where you could make a case for both sides.

For her project, she delivered vindication for Sharpay.

Emily Cacnio

Titled "How Sharpay Evans Was Bopped From the Top," Cacnio lays out a case for Sharpay being the real hero.

Sharpay, Cacnio argues, was just a talented performer who was acting professionally, and Gabriella and Troy didn't deserve their accolades.

"Mrs. Darbus is a clout chaser and casts popularity over talent," she wrote.

Emily Cacnio

Despite being overlooked, Sharpay was a team player who recognized other people's hard work.

Emily Cacnio

Cacnio said her class was into it.

"They loved it. They were like cracking up because I played some clips from the movie and they started singing along," she told BuzzFeed News.

She even got an A on the assignment.

Emily Cacnio

When she opened Twitter today and saw that Sharpay was trending, she knew she had to share her presentation with the world.

i really made a whole powerpoint and presented it in front of my freshman college english class on why sharpay was NOT the antagonist of the high school musical trilogies and i think that is the most performing arts major thing i could possibly do

The tweet has now gone viral and so many people are on her side.

@emilycatnio "Mrs. Darbus is a clout chaser"

"I did not expect that it would go viral," she said.

Although Cacnio isn't the first person to make this argument, it's one she's been sitting on for years. She remembers being "obsessed" with High School Musical as a kid and owned all the CDs. She liked Sharpay right away.

"In the first one I liked her because she was funny and sassy," she said.

"In the second one I started to notice things about her that made her seem kind of like the good guy in a way."

You can see Cacnio's full presentation here.


Gabriella's name was misspelled in an earlier version of this post.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.