The actress says this is "the first and last time" she will say anything about it at all.
Amber Riley played it coy in the immediate aftermath of former "Glee" star Samantha Ware coming forward on Monday to say that Lea Michele made her experience on the show "a living hell" to the point she almost quit Hollywood altogether.
In a way, Riley said almost everything while saying nothing at all in a simple series of three animated GIFS of herself. The first one saw her raising her hand as if she had something to add, while the second was her sipping some tea because we all know there is tea to be spilt.
But in the third, Riley shut down all those tantalizing possibilities by basically saying that it was time to move on and get back to more serious topics.
Ware's initial comments came in response to Michele expressing her support for Black Lives Matter amid ongoing protests after George Floyd's death. It was to this important civil issue that Riley was attempting to redirect the conversation. In the interim, though, other co-stars of Michele's -- including "Glee's" Heather Morris-- have also suggested she was "unpleasant" to work with, prompting a poorly-received apology from Michele.
While Michele did say she was sorry and cited her own "immaturity," she also talked about how her behavior was "perceived," which puts the onus on the people who felt she was "unpleasant" to them, rather than simply owning that maybe she just was.
And apparently, the apology tour didn't stop there, as Riley said in an Instagram Live interview Wednesday night that Michele reached out to her directly, though she didn't say for sure if it was to apologize.
Riley, along with co-star Naya Rivera, had suggested for years (including while the show was still on the air) that they had friction with Michele, to put it mildly. Rivera took it further in her 2016 memoir "Sorry Not Sorry," and even then was met with doubt.
Of Michele's call, Riley said it was the first time the former co-stars had talked in over two years. But that was about as much as she was willing to say, because just as she redirected the initial tweets back to Floyd's death, she made it clear there are still much bigger priorities in the world right now.
"We've already seen other people say it was not the most comfortable environment. I'm very proud of [Samantha Ware] for standing up for herself. I FaceTimed her and spoke to her, I am proud of her not being fearful and speaking her truth and her feeling was, 'I am not going to allow you to jump on what's happening now when you didn't treat me right,'" she said after the subject came up during an Instagram Live with "Real Quick" host Danielle Young.
"I'm not going to say that Lea Michele is racist," she continued. "That's not what I'm saying. That was the assumption because of what’s going on right now in the world and it happened toward a Black person. I'm not going to say that she's racist. She's also pregnant and I think that everybody needs to kind of chill. Y'all dragged her for a couple of days."
She said that her DMs were filled with other Black actors and actresses who had "dealt with the same things being on set and terrorized by the white girls who are the leads of the show." She added white stars, who know they're "not fireable," use that privilege to "terrorize their counterparts" -- something she experienced as well.
"I'm gonna say this and it's gonna be the end. I don't give a shit about this Lea Michele thing. I really don't give a f--k! I don't!" she said plainly. "I don't want to be asked about it ... I don't give a shit!"
"People are out here dying, being murdered by police!" she emphasized, going on to also speak about the deaths of trans women at the hands of men. Of her former co-star, all Riley would say was, "I wish Lea Michele well. I hope that she has an amazing pregnancy. I hope that she has grown."
She also said she hasn't even read Michele's apology and has no intention of doing so.
In other words, Riley has well and fully moved on from whatever negativity may have existed during those years of her life and she's doing just fine. So let the past be the past.
"She reached out to me, I responded to her and that's where it ends for me. I ain't talked to that girl in two years. I have no hatred or ill will on that end," she said, adding that this was "the first and last time" she was going to discuss this topic.
"My life and what I talk about is not going to be about that, I will shut it down immediately," she added, saying her focus is on "defunding the police, prosecuting killer cops, Black Lives Matter" and her new music. "If it's not bout those things, I don't care."
Watch the full Instagram Live below.
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