Lea Michele has released a statement in response to her former Glee costar, Samantha Marie Ware, saying the actor made the set a “living hell.”
It started when, on May 29, Michele tweeted a message about the murder of George Floyd, writing, “This was not an isolated incident and it must end.”
But Ware, who played Jane Hayward on the Ryan Murphy series, soon called out Michele for posting a hollow message of support. “LMAO,” she said before relaying her experience working with Michele on Glee. “REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISION GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD ‘SHIT IN MY WIG!’ AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD.”
And by Amber Riley, as well. The actor, who played Mercedes on Glee, tweeted this series of GIFs not long after Ware’s post:
A few days later, on June 3, Lea Michele responded to Ware’s post. “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 they face,” Michele wrote on Instagram. “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.”
She continued, “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 ended her statement with, “I am a couple of months from being 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.”
Ware has not responded to Michele’s statement yet, but we’ll update if she does.