"Glee" alums Amber Riley and Alex Newell chime in with support after Samantha Ware alleges Michele made her first television gig "a living hell."
UPDATE at 6:00am PT on June 3, 2020: Lea Michele issued a lengthy apology on Wednesday morning.
"One of the most important lessons of the last few weeks is that we need to take the time to listen and learn about other people's perspectives and any role we have played or anything we can do to help address the injustices that why face," she wrote on Instagram. "When I tweeted the other day, it was meant to be a show of support for our friends and neighbors and communities of color during this really difficult time, but the responses I received to what I posted have made me also focus specifically on 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," she continued. "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."
"We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings," she went on. "I am a couple of months from becoming a mother and I know I need to keep working to better myself and take responsibility for my actions, so that I can be a real role model for my child and so I can pass along my lessons and mistakes, so that they can learn from me."
In closing, she added, "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."
UPDATE at 12:40pm PT on June 2, 2020: HelloFresh cut ties with Lea Michele following Samantha Ware's allegations.
"HelloFresh does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind," they said on Twitter. "We are disheartened and disappointed to learn of the recent claims concerning Lea Michele. We take this very seriously, and have ended our partnership with Lea Michele, effective immediately."
She last posted for them last week.
Original story below...
The cast of "Glee" -- in particular three black members from the show's sprawling cast across six seasons -- took serious issue with Lea Michele chiming in on the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd's murder.
"George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end," Michele tweeted on Friday, followed by the BLM hashtag.
Without addressing the ongoing civil unrest over Floyd's killing, one of Michele's former co-stars appeared to take issue with Michele injecting herself into a conversation about how people treat one another.
"Remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?" she wrote on Monday night in response to Michele's tweet. "I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would 'shit in my wig!' amongst [sic] traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood."
LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD “SHIT IN MY WIG!” AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD... https://t.co/RkcaMBmtDA
Ware joined the cast of "Glee" during its final season in 2015 as a member of glee club New Directions. Another latecomer to the "Glee" family was among the first to back her up.
Alex Newell ("Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist") joined the show in the fourth season before becoming a series regular in Season 5. Not only did Alex echo Yvette Nicole Brown's support, but quickly shared a meme of RuPaul looking on carefully through binoculars. Fellow "Glee" star Melissa Benoist also liked Ware's tweets.
I’m gonna say this one time... when my friends goes through something traumatic I also go through it... that’s what friendship is... and if you can’t understand that then you’re part of the problem... and that’s on PERIODT! And I mean that for both sides of this coin!
Stories have circulated for years about friction among that early cast, in particular circling the de facto OG female leads, Michele, Amber Riley and Naya Rivera. Rivera talked about her own issues with Michele in her bombshell 2016 memoir "Sorry Not Sorry."
"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," Rivera write, per TVLine.
Riley, meanwhile, jumped into the fray Monday night as well with memes of herself, including one with her pointedly raising her hand as if she most definitely had something to add. The rivalry between her and Michele was reportedly not just on the screen.
While she made it patently clear that there was some tea, fans were left frustrated as Riley did not immediately start spilling it herself.
Instead, she made a concerted effort to refocus the conversation on her feed to the larger issues in the world with calls to "defund the police" and "prosecute killer cops" with her own support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
There have been daily protests -- both violent and non-violent -- since the death of George Floyd on May 25. The innocent black man was handcuffed and pinned face-down on the ground with multiple offers kneeling on his body.
Former officer Derek Chauvin had his knee pressed against Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes while he pleaded with the officers and repeated that he couldn't breathe, including several minutes after he'd stopped responding at all. All the while, people at the scene were pleading with the officers to let him up, or at least let him breathe.
With Floyd's final moments caught on camera, Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other three officers involved have been fired but not charged, though charges are being considered.
In an independent autopsy at the insistence of Floyd's family, his cause of death was ruled to be "homicide caused by asphyxia." His cries of "I can't breathe" have become a rallying cry in nationwide (and now global) protests over generations of racial inequality and injustice.
"Glee" fans were quick to praise all three of Michele's co-stars for speaking their own truths -- or at least hinting at them -- in regards to their experiences on set. Michele has not responded to any of the online chatter, that saw both her and Riley's names trending high on Twitter.
TooFab has reached out to Michele's rep for comment.