While Lea Michele may not have been a joy to work with on Glee, one of her co-stars isn’t going to call her a racist. As Mamas Uncut previously reported, Michele was called out by one of her other Glee co-stars on June 1 after she tweeted about the unjust killing of George Floyd.
According to Samantha Ware, who played Jane Hayward on 14 episodes of Glee alongside Michele, the lead star of the show made her “life a living hell.” In response to Michele’s tweet, Ware wrote, “LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISION GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD ‘SH*T IN MY WIG!’ AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD…”
And while there is no excuse for Michele’s alleged behavior, which was not only directed at Ware according to other actors who worked with Michele at one point in their career, Amber Riley, who also starred on Glee, said on Danielle Young‘s Instagram Live that while Michele didn’t have the best behavior towards some of her co-stars she wouldn’t call her a racist.
Riley begins talking about the Michele situation around the 44:40 mark in the video below.
While Riley applauded Ware for “not being fearful and telling her truth,” Riley believes people are assuming Ware and others are calling Michele racist because of when the tweet was sent. However, while Riley and Michele are far from close friends, she urged people not to jump to conclusions.
“I’m not going to say that Lea Michele is racist. That’s not what I’m saying. That was the assumption because of what’s going on right now in the world and it happened toward a black person. I’m not going to say that she’s racist.”
Riley also shared that people need to be wary of that Michele is currently pregnant with her first child. “She’s also pregnant and I think that everybody needs to kind of chill. Y’all have dragged her for a couple of days.” Michele did reach out to Riley, following the backlash, to have a discussion about her past behavior.
After adding that there is more important and dire issues that need to be talked about, she wished Michele the best, adding that she hopes she has a good pregnancy and that she has no hatred or ill-will on that end.
However, while she believes Michele has been dragged enough for her actions, she also hopes the actress and mom-to-be has grown and continues to grow.
Michele issued an apology to those of her co-stars who she hurt on Instagram. It read, in part:
“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. 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. […] 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 form this experience.”
And another Glee star Iqbal Theba, who played Principal Figgins, also came to Michele’s defense saying, “Lot of people r assuming that @LeaMichele mistreated me. Let me state it clearly that I was never mistreated by her. And if some of the cast were treated badly then she has apologized for it which is wonderful. But being called a racist is too heavy & unfair a burden 4 most … of us, specially in these troubled times. So, please be compassionate, careful & responsible before we accuse anyone of this horrible thing called racism. I love each & every one of my fellow cast members from our great show @OfficialGLEEtv. Be safe & be well. Much love.”
Michele has yet to return to social media following the backlash she has received.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.