Celebrities are trying to do their bit (with perhaps the added bonus of staying relevant and visible) while America is battered by riots on top of a a pandemic and lockdowns. Glee star Lea Michele probably thought she was on safe ground sending a brief message on social media expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Unfortunately for her, the message has quickly become a lightning rod for some black former co-workers on Glee to express their negative experiences of toiling alongside Michele on Hollywood sound stages. And one in particular has done so in very, er, graphic terms.
Enter stage left: Samantha Marie Ware (who appeared mainly on the show’s sixth season as student singer Jane Hayward). She was incensed by the perceived hypocrisy in Michele’s tweet, which read, “George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesmatter.”
In response, Ware alleged that Michele told their co-workers that, if she had the opportunity, she would do something unspeakable to her hairpiece.
And it appears, Ware wasn’t the only black actor who feels they experienced hostility from Michele.
Alex Newell, Amber Riley, and Dabier Snell, who all also had parts in Glee, reacted to the tweet in support of Samantha.
“Girl, you wouldn’t let me sit at the table with the other cast members cause ‘I didn’t belong there,’” Snell, who appeared in a 2014 episode of Glee, tweeted Monday evening. “Fuck you Lea.”
Glee stalwart Amber Riley, who played the uncompromising Mercedes Jones on the series, responded with a telling gif.
Alex Newell, who joined Glee’s third season as vocalist Unique Adams, was another to chime in, posting the “Get her, Jade” meme from Drag Race.
Non-Glee actors also joined the twitter pile-on, with Candice Patton (best known for her role as Iris West in the CW television series The Flash) tweeting a supportive meme.
Avid watchers of Glee-related gossip will know that Michele hasn’t always had the best reputation among the show’s cast and crew.
Naya Rivera, who guest starred in the final series as cheerleader Santana Lopez, wrote in her book, Sorry, Not Sorry, “One of the Glee writers once said that Lea and I were like two sides of the same battery and that about sums us up,” she said, “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 Six.”
Michele, who is expecting a child with her husband, businessman Zandy Reich, 37, played the role of Rachel Berry on the show’s six seasons, getting nominated for an Emmy and two Golden Globe awards with the part.