Samantha Marie Ware, 28, was not a fan of how Lea Michele, 33, worded her apology. However, she used it as an opportunity to clap back with her own wordplay. On June 3, Lea apologized for how she was “perceived” (a word she used twice) by her peers in the past, after Samantha accused Lea of making her “FIRST TELEVISION GIG A LIVING HELL” and committing “TRAUMATIC MICROAGGRESSIONS” during their time together on Glee in 2015.
“Perceived? Purcieved? Purse? Open your purse??????????????,” Samantha tweeted later that day, although she didn’t tag Lea. Instead, she linked a GoFundMe page for the family of James Scurlock, a 22-year-old black man who was protesting George Floyd’s death in downtown Omaha, Nebraka when he was shot to death by white bar owner Jacob Gardner on May 30. The bar owner avoided charges because he was determined to be acting in self-defense by the Douglas County Attorney’s Office.
The drama between Samantha and Lea started on May 29, when Lea tweeted, “George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesMatter.” Samantha didn’t feel the solidarity, though; in addition to coming forward with the aforementioned accusations above, Samantha claimed that Lea threatened to “s–t” in her wig. Lea immediately started to trend on Twitter, and she soon followed with an apology that arguably caused just as much controversy.
“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,” Lea wrote in the beginning of her lengthy apology, which you can read in full above.
Lea later added, “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.” Although Lea also denied judging others “by their background or color of their skin,” HelloFresh dropped a partnership with Lea, announcing that it does “not condone racism nor discrimination.” Fellow Glee star Heather Morris gave Lea the benefit of the doubt, however.
“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 to 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,” Heather, who played cheerleader Brittany Susan Pierce on the show, posted. Her defense came in the next half of the Twitter statement; she added, “And yet, it’s also on us because to allow it go on for so long without speaking out is something else we’re learning along with the rest of society. But, at the current moment it is 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…”