Lea Michele was under fire on June 2 after Samantha Marie Ware, who worked with her on the set of Glee, called her out for supporting Black Lives Matter. Samantha accused Lea of making her time on Glee a ‘living hell,’ and several other stars from the show weighed in to agree. Amidst Blackout Tuesday, Lea stayed silent on the matter, but she finally issued a response during the early hours of June 3.
In her response, Lea admitted that she didn’t remember making the “specific statement” that Samantha mentioned in her tweet (“I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s*** in my wig.'”) However, she apologized for any hurt she may have caused. “What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people,” she said. “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 being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused.”
She also added that she’s been “reflecting on [her] own shortcomings” over the last several months, and explained that she wants to “take responsibility for [her] actions” as she prepares to welcome her first child. “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,” she concluded.
Lea first tweeted about the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a white police officer in Minnesota, on May 29. “George Floyd did not deserve this,” she wrote. “This was not an isolated incident and it must end #BlackLivesMatter.” However, it wasn’t until June 1 that Samantha, who starred as Jane Hayward on 11 episodes of Glee during season 6 in 2015, made her accusations in response to Lea’s message.
“LMAO remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?!” Samantha wrote. “Cause I’ll never forget. I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s*** in my wig!’ amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood.” After seeing Samantha’s message, other Glee stars began weighing in. Amber Riley appeared to agree with Samantha’s tweet, as she posted a GIF of herself sipping tea on Twitter, while Alex Newell wrote, “We ain’t got not a damn thing to lie about 6 years later!”
Meanwhile, Melissa Benoist ‘liked’ both Amber and Alex’s tweets, and Yvette Nicole Brown, who was on The Mayor with Lea, also weighed in. “I feel every one of those capital letters…every person on set matters,” she wrote. “Every person on set deserves respect. And it is the responsibility of every series regular to make every person who visits their home feel welcome. The dismissive attitude is what’s wrong in Hollywood and the world.”