Her side of the story. Lea Michele addressed the accusations made by her former Glee costars for the first time on Wednesday, June 3.
“One of the most important lessons of the last few weeks is that we need to take the time to listen and learn about other people’s perspectives and any role we have played or anything we can do to help address the injustices that they face,” the actress said in a statement to People. “When I tweeted the other day, it was meant to be a show of support for our friends and neighbors and communities of color during this really difficult time, but the responses I received to what I posted have made me also focus specifically on how my own behavior towards fellow cast members was perceived by them. 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.”
She continued, “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. 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.”
Michele, 33, came under fire on Monday, June 1, after Samantha Marie Ware called out her tweet regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and the death of George Floyd.
“LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISION GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET,” Ware tweeted in response to Michele’s post about the movement. “I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU [sic] HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD ‘S–T IN MY WIG!’ AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD.”
Ware appeared alongside Michele for the sixth and final season of Glee, which aired in 2015.
The Hamilton alum wasn’t the only one to slam Michele, however. Dabier Snell, who appeared in a 2014 episode, alleged that the Scream Queens star wouldn’t let him “sit at the table with the other cast members” because he “didn’t belong there.”
Alex Newell, who portrayed Unique Adams on the Fox series, shared a series of GIFs at the time in response to Ware’s tweet.
“I’m gonna say this one time… when my friends goes through something traumatic I also go through it…” Newell explained. “That’s what friendship is… and if you can’t understand that then you’re part of the problem… and that’s on PERIODT! And I mean that for both sides of this coin!”
While Amber Riley didn’t directly comment on Ware’s claims, her social media activity sent a message. Riley, who starred as Mercedes Jones on all six seasons of Glee, posted a three images of herself, including one of her sipping tea.
That same night, Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams) made waves when he responded to a tweet about the “problematic” Glee cast. While the post included a series of serious accusations — including calling Michele “racist” — the actor only shut down allegations that Chord Overstreet (Sam Evans) supports President Donald Trump.
Glee, which ran 121 episodes, aired on Fox from 2009 to 2015.
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