Lea Michele Accused of Making Life “A Living Hell” for Costars; Read Her Apology
As more and more people are focused on raising awareness and sharing important information about the Black Lives Matter movement, just as many people are taking this time to call out messages of hypocrisy and recall moments where they were mistreated and discriminated against. Last Friday, actress Lea Michele tweeted #BlackLivesMatter in response to George Floyd’s murder. Her tweet read,
George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesMatter.”
This prompted her former Glee co-star, Samantha Marie Ware to speak out against the star for being two-faced. Ware found the sentiment to be dishonest, especially after taking into account how badly she (and Glee’s other POC cast members) was treated by Michele. Calling out Michele, Ware – who played female Warbler-turned-New Directioner Jane Hayward on Glee’s sixth season – wrote,
Accusing her of “traumatic microaggressions” that made Ware’s first TV gig “living hell”, she shaded the star (who played Rachel Barry on all six seasons of Glee) for her hypocritical tweet of solidarity. In response, Michele posted a lengthy statement on Instagram to apologise to her former co-star.
Although Michele’s apology doesn’t mention Ware by name, it does address some of her former co-star’s accusations,
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.”
After this, fellow Glee alums threw subtle shade at Michele, by responding to Ware’s tweet. Alex Newell (Unique) replied to Ware’s tweet with gif of RuPaul,
— Alex Newell (@thealexnewell) June 2, 2020
and Amber Riley (Mercedes) tweeted this gif,
— Amber Patrice Riley (@MsAmberPRiley) June 2, 2020
Other black actors who appeared on Glee supported Ware’s allegations. Black Lightning actor Dabier, who had a role in a 2014 episode of the series, also responded to Michele’s #BlackLivesMatter tweet with,
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
Broadway actor Gerard Canonico, who was an understudy in the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening starring Michele and her BFF Jonathan Groff, also shared his two cents by commenting underneath Michele’s apology Instagram post. He called Michele a “nightmare”.
In the wake of the controversy, recipe kit delivery service HelloFresh terminated Michele as a spokesperson. In response to a tweet from another Twitter user, HelloFresh clarified its partnership with Michelle.
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
However, this is not the first time Michele has been accused of bad behaviour and personality issues. In 2014, Michele was reportedly feuding with co-star Naya Rivera. Rumours – which later turned out to be untrue – circulated that Rivera was fired from Glee because she complained about Michele’s behaviour on set. Rivera’s tell-all memoir from 2016, however, did confirm plenty of other diva-ish behaviour from the star, including Michele’s frequent taste for locking herself in her trailer and stalling production.
*To find out more about the movement or to show your support, go to these sites: 1. #BlackLivesMatter website 2. Campaign Zero 3. Why You Need to Stop Saying “All Lives Matter” By Rachel Cargle 4. Code: Switch NPR ( “Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on.” )