Lea Michele responds to accusations of racism, on-set bullying made by former 'Glee' co-stars

Michele promised to "be better in the future from this experience."

June 03, 2020, 6:20 PM

Lea Michele has responded to allegations of racism and on-set bullying made by former "Glee" co-stars.

It all started when the 33-year-old actress, who played Rachel Berry for the iconic musical dramedy's entire run, tweeted last week reacting to the tragic killing of George Floyd at the hands of police, "George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesMatter." In response to Michele's tweet, fellow "Glee" alum Samantha Marie Ware accused the star of treating her horribly when they worked together.

"LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISION GIG A LIVING HELL?!?!" Ware, who played Jane Hayward on the series' final season, replied, saying she will "never forget" what happened.

The 28-year-old recalled an incident when Michele allegedly told others on the TV show's set that she would defecate in her wig. Ware hinted that this was just one of the "traumatic" microaggressions she experienced that made her "question a career in Hollywood."

Fellow "Glee" co-stars of color seem to have shown support for Ware, with Amber Riley, who played Mercedes Jones, and Alex Newell, who played Wade "Unique" Adams, sharing reaction GIFs on Twitter.

Michele finally spoke out Wednesday, sharing a lengthy statement to Instagram acknowledging "how my own behavior towards fellow cast members was perceived by them."

"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," the "Scream Queens" star wrote.

"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," Michele continued.

The "Spring Awakening" star said she reflected on herself in the past few months because, now that she is set to become a mother, it's important to work on herself so she can be a role model for her child.

Michele concluded the post by writing, "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."

After Michele spoke out, her former "Glee" co-star Heather Morris tweeted that Michele was "unpleasant to work with," and "SHOULD be called out," for treating others with such disrespect. However, Morris added, "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."

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