Matthew Morrison is speaking out about his exit from So You Think You Can Dance after a source told PEOPLE that he was fired for sending a female contestant “flirty” messages that made her “uncomfortable.”
“It’s really unfortunate that I have to sit here and defend myself and my family against blatantly untrue statements made anonymously, but I have nothing to hide,” he began in a video posted to Instagram on Thursday. “So, in the interest of transparency, I will read to you the one message I wrote to a dancer on the show.”
He noted that his text allegedly read, “Hey, it’s Matthew. If you don’t mind, would love to get your number and talk you through some things.”
“The end,” he continued. “I sent this because this dancer and I both share a mutual respect for a choreographer that I’ve known for over 20 years and I was trying to help her get a job as a choreographer on the show.”
“It’s devastating that we live in this world where gossip rules and people’s lives are being thrown around as clickbait,” he added. “I think this is much bigger than me and this story. Gossip is toxic and it is destroying our society, and we need to do better.”
Concluding the video, Matthew said he “in no way” wanted this “to take away from the show” and wished the contestants and his fellow judges “all the best.”
News of the former Glee star’s abrupt exit from the show broke last Friday, a little over a week since the dance competition aired its season 17 premiere on May 18.
At the time, Matthew told PEOPLE he was leaving due to his failing to follow “competition production protocols.”
“Having the opportunity to be a judge on So You Think You Can Dance was an incredible honor for me. Therefore, it is my deepest regret to inform you that I will be leaving the show,” he said in the statement.
“After filming the audition rounds for the show and completing the selection of the 12 finalists, I did not follow competition production protocols, preventing me from being able to judge the competition fairly,” he continued. “I cannot apologize enough to all involved and I will be watching alongside you all on what I know will be one of the best seasons yet.”
Then, on Tuesday, a source told the outlet he was actually fired after having had “an inappropriate relationship with a female contestant.”
“They didn’t have sex, but he reached out to her through flirty direct messages on social media,” the source says. “She felt uncomfortable with his line of comments and went to producers, who then got Fox involved. He was fired after they did their own investigation.”
The source added that Matthew and the unidentified female contestant “never met up off-set,” but “it was just messages that crossed the line.”