Amber Riley won’t be speaking out about the Lea Michele controversy besides saying this in a new interview: she thinks there are far more important things to focus on right now, like the George Floyd protests.
Amber Riley, 34, has made it very clear that she will not be speaking any further about the controversy surrounding her former Glee costar, Lea Michele. During a June 3 Instagram Live interview with journalist Danielle Young, she got straight to the point: “I don’t give a s**t about this Lea Michele thing. I really don’t give a f**k. I don’t want to be asked about it.. I don’t give a s**t. People are out here dying. Being murdered by police. Trans women are being murdered at the hands of men.” Essentially, there are more important things to focus on now, in Amber’s opinion, like the massive nationwide protests following George Floyd‘s death in Minneapolis.
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Glee star Samantha Ware tweeted on June 1 that Lea made her life “a living hell” during her time on the series, in response to a tweet Lea sent supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. Samantha claimed that “traumatic microagressions” from Lea and a racist comment made her question a career in acting. Other Glee co-stars came out in support of Samantha, including Heather Morris and Alex Newell, While Amber didn’t comment on the situation, she tweeted a gif that spoke a thousand words.
Lea has since apologized, saying that while she didn’t remember the specific incident Samantha cited (saying that she’d ‘s**t in my wig), she “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 being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused.” Amber said she didn’t read it.
Amber’s focusing on the present, and the incredible work she’s doing as an activist. She used her powerful voice at the June 1 protest in Los Angeles, belting Beyonce‘s “Freedom” as demonstrators chanted around her. Amber posted footage of the moment to Instagram, captioning the video “What an honor.” She added the hashtags #blacklivesmatter, #defundthepolice, and #prosecutekillercops.
Amber also protested outside LA Mayor Eric Garcetti‘s home on June 2, the spot where fellow actress Jaime King was arrested, in honor of George Floyd, the unarmed black man killed when a white police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes. Amber has been working with the group Build Power, an organization that asks entertainers to “use their platform to advance radical social change and dismantle systemic oppression,” and is consistently on the frontlines of the protests, fighting for justice against police brutality.
At the end of her interview, Amber wished Lea well, and asked that everyone move on. “I hope that she has an amazing pregnancy. I hope that she has grown, and that she has understood,” Amber said, revealing that Lea had actually reached out to her. She didn’t divulge what was said during their conversation. “I have no hatred or ill will on that end. I want to make that very clear: that my life, and what I talk about is not going to be about that.”