‘You Made Work A Living Hell’: Black ‘Glee’ Cast Members Are Calling Out Lea Michele
As a result, Lea Michele has lost a sponsorship deal with Hello Fresh.
Multiple Black cast members of Glee are calling out Lea Michele for her behaviour on set, in response to her tweet about supporting #BlackLivesMatter.
Michele, who played anti-hero theatre gleek Rachel Berry on the show, posted a solidarity tweet on Monday, writing “George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesMatter”.
It was quoted by Samantha Marie War, who was on Glee‘s sixth season, and evidently found Michele’s statement very empty.
“LMAO, remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?!,” she wrote. “‘Cause I’ll never forget. I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would “shit in my wig!”.”
She also said this was just one of many “traumatic microaggressions” against her from Michele, which was co-signed by several more of Glee’s Black cast members. Actor Dabier also quote-tweeted Michele’s statement, saying that he was shunned by the actress when filming a guest spot in the show’s fifth season.
“Girl, you wouldn’t let me sit at the table with the other cast members cause ‘I didn’t belong there,’” he wrote. “Fuck you Lea.”
Both Amber Riley and Alex Newell, mainstays of the show, preferred to express their support via gifs — Newell later responded to a fan by saying he has “nothing to lie about 6 years later”.
— Amber Patrice Riley (@MsAmberPRiley) June 2, 2020
— Alex Newell (@thealexnewell) June 2, 2020
Actor Josh Blumenkratz, who had a small part in Glee‘s 2015 season, responded to War’s tweet to back her up.
“I remember when she yelled out you when she was doing a scene with Chris. You legit did not do anything,” he wrote. “Her apology to you even seemed fake. I’m sorry you had to deal with that. You don’t deserve that kind of treatment.”
In response to these tweets, food delivery service Hello Fresh announced it would part ways with Michele, who had promoted the product across social media.
“HelloFresh does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind. We are disheartened and disappointed to learn of the recent claims concerning Lea Michele,” the company posted on Twitter. “We take this very seriously, and have ended our partnership with Lea Michele, effective immediately.”
This isn’t the first time Michele has been accused of bullying behaviour by a person of colour. In her 2016 memoir, Naya Rivera — who played Santana on the show — expressed her own tensions with Michele on-set.
“We are both strong-willed and competitive – not just with each other but with everyone – and that’s not a good mixture,” she wrote. “As Santana moved from a background character to one with bigger plot lines and more screen time. I think Rachel – erm, I mean Lea – didn’t like sharing the spotlight.”
“If I’d complained about anyone or anything, she’d assumed I was bitching about her. Soon, she started to ignore me, and eventually it got to the point where she didn’t say a word to me for all of season 6.”
As of writing, Michele has not yet responded.