More and more actors are accusing 'Glee' star Lea Michele of being 'unpleasant,' 'a nightmare,' and guilty of 'racist microaggressions'
- Lea Michele has received a lot of criticism from former costars who have labeled her "unpleasant" and a "nightmare" to work with.
- The stories were sparked by a tweet last week in which Michele's fellow "Glee" actress Samantha Marie Ware accused Michele of making her life a "living hell."
- The tweet was in response to a statement Michele posted in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Michele has since issued an apology, but stars have continued to make accusations against her.
- The "30 Rock" actor Keith Powell called Michele "a terrible human," while the "Glee" actress Heather Morris said Michele was "unpleasant to work with."
- The Broadway star Gerard Canonico, the "Real Housewives of New York" star Aviva Drescher, the "Ru Paul's Drag Race" contestant Willam Belli, and others have spoken out against the star, too.
- Insider reached out to representatives of Michele for comment but did not immediately get a response.
Lea Michele has been receiving a lot of criticism from former costars and colleagues lately.
Last week, she tweeted a message of support for the Black Lives Matter movement following the killing of George Floyd.
But one of her former "Glee" costars, Samantha Marie Ware, who is black, quickly labeled Michele a hypocrite and wrote back to Michele's tweet: "LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET."
Ware said that Michele, who played Rachel in "Glee," told people that she would "s---" in Ware's wig, which she described as one of many "TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS" that caused her to question a career in Hollywood.
Ware was backed up by the "Glee" actors Dabier and Amber Riley, along with Jeanté Godlock, causing HelloFresh to sever its ties with Michele.
Michele posted an apology statement to Instagram, saying she was trying to show support in her initial tweet but had been prompted by the responses to look at "how my own behavior towards fellow cast members was perceived by them."
Michele wrote: "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."
Michele continued: "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 my own shortcomings."
The actress, who is pregnant, said she hoped her child could learn from her mistakes and concluded: "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."
Criticism against the actress has still continued to crop up or resurface, however. Insider reached out to representatives of Michele for comment but did not immediately get a response.
Samantha Marie Ware said Michele threatened to have her fired
Michele's "Glee" costar Ware, who played Jane Hayward on Ryan Murphy's hit musical show, was not happy with Michele's message of support to the Black Lives Matter movement on May 29.
Michele tweeted: "George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesMatter."
—Lea Michele (@LeaMichele) May 29, 2020
Ware's full reply said: "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 'S--- IN MY WIG!' AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD..."
—SAMEYAAAAAA (@Sammie_Ware) June 2, 2020
"The camera wasn't on us, so it's not like we had to give a full-throttle performance, but apparently, I was goofing around when the camera wasn't on me, and she took that as me being disrespectful to her," Ware said. "She waited until the scene was over and she stopped in the middle of the stage and did a 'come here' gesture, like how a mother does to their child."
"I said 'no,' and that's when she decided to threaten my job, and said she would call Ryan Murphy in to come and fire me," Ware said. "It's scary. For the full week, I was thinking I'm probably going to get an email and I might not be able to do the last three episodes, or I might not be able to sing another song."
Ware continued: "When I tried to speak up for myself, she told me to shut my mouth. She said I don't deserve to have that job."
'30 Rock' actor Keith Powell called Michele 'a terrible human'
Keith Powell, who played Toofer on "30 Rock," was one of several actors who tweeted in support of Ware.
He said in a reply to Ware's initial tweet: "Lea Michele is a terrible human and has said terrible things to many different types of people, including racist microaggressions to/about black people."
It is unclear whether the two have ever worked together, or the capacity in which they know each other.
—Keith Powell (@KeithPowell) June 3, 2020
'Daybreak' actress Jeanté Godlock rallied behind Ware's tweet with her own story about Michele
Jeanté Godlock told Ware that Michele called the background actors of "Glee" "cockroaches."
"Did somebody say cockroaches? because that's what she used to refer to the background as on the set of glee. but we grow up and we don't stay background forever sooooo..." Godlock wrote.
—Jeanté Godlock (@jeantegodlock) June 2, 2020
The actress Nicki Dion replied to Godlock's tweet saying: "Remember that time she asked her makeup lady why a background guy was standing so closer to her... mind you he was still atleast, like 6 feet away from her." Godlock said she remembered the incident.
—Jeanté Godlock (@jeantegodlock) June 2, 2020
Dabier, who appeared in a 2014 episode of 'Glee,' said that Michele told him he 'didn't belong' at the table
The actor Dabier appeared in the 2014 "Glee" episode "New Directions," credited as Animal Husbandry Clubber.
He tweeted: "GIRL YOU WOULDNT LET ME SIT AT THE TABLE WITH THE OTHER CAST MEMBERS CAUSE 'I DIDNT BELONG THERE' F--- YOU LEA."
—Dabier (@OfficialDabier) June 2, 2020
Amber Riley didn't write anything about Michele herself but did tweet in support of Ware
Amber Riley, who starred in "Glee" as Mercedes, used GIFs instead of words to show support for her former castmate Ware:
—Amber Patrice Riley (@MsAmberPRiley) June 2, 2020
Heather Morris said she thought Michele should be called out for being 'unpleasant to work with'Morris, another actress who worked with Michele on "Glee," posted a lengthy statement to Twitter in the wake of the accusations. Morris played Brittany in the show.
Her full statement said: "Let me be very clear, hate is a disease in America that we are trying to cure, so I would never wish for hate to be spread on anyone else.
"With that said, was she unpleasant to work with? Very much so; for Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she SHOULD be called out.
"And yet, it's also on us because to allow it to go on for so long without speaking out is something else we're learning along with the rest of society.
"At the current moment it's implied that she is a racist and although I cannot comment on her beliefs, I think we're assuming, and you know what happens when we all assume…"
—heather (@HeatherMorrisTV) June 3, 2020
'Real Housewives of New York' star Aviva Drescher told Michele not to 'judge others before looking in the mirror'
While it is unclear whether Aviva Drescher has ever worked with Michele, the "Real Housewives" star did comment on Michele's apology post on Instagram, writing: "You were once very unkind to me so I am not surprised by your behavior. You shouldn't judge others before looking in the mirror."
Broadway star Gerard Canonico said Michele was a 'nightmare' to work with
Canonico was an understudy in the Broadway show "Spring Awakening," which starred Michele.
Canonico commented on Michele's apology post, saying that his original comment was deleted so he had to repost his comment.
"Seems to have been deleted. So I'll try again. You were nothing but a nightmare to me and fellow understudy cast members," he wrote.
"You made us feel like we didn't belong there. I tried for years to be nice to you to no avail. Maybe actually apologize instead of placing the blame on how others 'perceive' you."
At the end of it, he added: "You'll probably just delete this, though."
'Ru Paul's Drag Race' contestant Willam Belli called the way Michele treated him on the set of 'Glee' 'subhuman'
The "Ru Paul's Drag Race" contestant Willam Belli said he had to leave the set of "Glee" because of Lea's treatment, writing on Twitter: "Lea treated me so subhuman i left the set of Glee."
—Willam (@willam) June 2, 2020
Naya Rivera, Michele's costar on 'Glee,' wrote about their feud in her memoir
It turns out the past week doesn't mark the first time costars have spoken out about their negative experiences working with Michele.
Though Naya Rivera and Michele played best friends on "Glee," the actresses never got along in real life.
Rivera, who played Santana Lopez, opened up about their strained relationship in her memoir "Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up."
"One of the 'Glee' writers once said that Lea and I were like two sides of the same battery and that about sums us up. We are both strong willed and competitive — not just with each other but with everyone — and that's not a good mixture," Rivera wrote.
"As the show progressed, though, that friendship started to break down, especially as Santana moved from a background character to one with bigger plot lines and more screen time," she wrote. "I think Rachel — erm, I mean Lea — didn't like sharing the spotlight."
Rivera continued: "Lea was a lot more sensitive, though, and it seemed like she blamed me for anything and everything that went wrong. If I'd complained about anyone or anything, she'd assumed I was b----ing about her. Soon, she started to ignore me, and eventually it got to the point where she didn't say a word to me for all of season six."
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