Glee star Lea Michele has little to sing about today. When she tweeted a message about the death of George Floyd with the hashtag #blacklivesmatter on Monday night, costar Samantha Ware accused her of making her life “a living hell” – setting off a series of responses from other black actors who appeared on Glee. The tweets picked up so much steam, they've already cost Michele an endorsement deal.
Ware, who played Jane Howard in the musical show's last season, called out Michele’s treatment of her on the set, citing “traumatic microaggressions.”
LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD “SHIT IN MY WIG!” AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD... https://t.co/RkcaMBmtDA
— SAMEYAAAAAA (@Sammie_Ware) June 2, 2020
That led other Glee alums to chime in about Michele’s alleged behavior, including Alex Newell (who played Unique and is currently starring in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist):
Child we ain’t got not a damn thing to lie about 6 years later! pic.twitter.com/TPRlKQdGLf
— Alex Newell (@thealexnewell) June 2, 2020
Drag performer Willam added:
Lea treated me so subhuman i left the set of Glee. Pass the 🍿 https://t.co/LKCHadWLqI
— Willam (@willam) June 2, 2020
Dabier Snell, who appeared in one episode of Glee, then jumped in to say Michele told him he didn’t belong at a table with other cast members:
GIRL YOU WOULDNT LET ME SIT AT THE TABLE WITH THE OTHER CAST MEMBERS CAUSE “I DIDNT BELONG THERE” FUCK YOU LEA https://t.co/s4NoLdtqRs
— Dabier (@OfficialDabier) June 2, 2020
Amber Riley, who played Mercedes, also posted some reaction GIFs.
Trans NYC performer Linux TheRobot recalled her time as an extra on Glee:
When we filmed this scene the entire crew was SO HAPPY. Finally got to watch her get hit by eggs for 7 hours of filming over and over and over again pic.twitter.com/7FnRJVHscZ
— linux #BLACKLIVESMATTER (@linuxtherobot) June 2, 2020
Yvette Nicole Brown, who costarred with Michele in the short-lived sitcom The Mayor, added:
I felt every one of those capital letters. ✊🏾
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) June 2, 2020
In a fan thread about Glee’s “problematic” cast members, Kevin McHale (who played Artie) only defended Chord Overstreet:
— Kevin McHale (@druidDUDE) June 2, 2020
— Kevin McHale (@druidDUDE) June 2, 2020
Following the tweets, HelloFresh announced that they had severed ties with the actress. The meal-kit company has been featuring her in campaigns since January.
HelloFresh does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind. We are disheartened and disappointed to learn of the recent claims concerning Lea Michele. We take this very seriously, and have ended our partnership with Lea Michele, effective immediately.
— HelloFresh US (@HelloFresh) June 2, 2020
Michele responded to the tweets Wednesday morning, saying in a statement to People: "While I don't remember ever making this specific statement and I have never judged others by their background or color of their skin, that’s not really the point. What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people. Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused. We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings."
She added, "I am a couple of months from becoming a mother and I know I need to keep working to better myself and take responsibility for my actions, so that I can be a real role model for my child and so I can pass along my lessons and mistakes, so that they can learn from me. I listened to these criticisms and I am learning and while I am very sorry, I will be better in the future from this experience."
The actress, who played Rachel Berry for the entirety of Glee's six seasons, was previously accused of diva behavior in costar Naya Rivera’s memoir.
And that's what you missed on Glee!