Lea Michele addresses rumors she can't read in new TikTok

·3 min read
Actress Lea Michele is poking fun at the rumor that she doesn't know how to read or write. (Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Actress Lea Michele is poking fun at the rumor that she doesn't know how to read or write. (Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Lea Michele is spending her days in COVID-19 quarantine like most of us: on social media. However, the Glee alum is also using the opportunity to mock rumors that she's illiterate.

Michele, 36, had to take a temporary step back from performing in Broadway's Funny Girl due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, and joined the popular video app TikTok during her downtime. In a new video, the actress joked about the viral rumor that she doesn't know how to read or write.

"It's amazing but wait, can you talk for a sec?" Michele lip syncs for the camera, reenacting Kim Kardashian's dialogue from an old episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, in which the model and mogul is visibly upset while on vacation. The star added the caption, "Calling Jonathan to read me the comments on my first TikTok," implying that she needed her best friend Jonathan Groff to read the comments for her.

Michele officially responded to the bizarre rumor of her illiteracy in an interview with the New York Times earlier this month. The actress pointed out that she believes the criticism is rooted in misogyny.

“I went to Glee every single day; I knew my lines every single day,” she told the Times. “And then there’s a rumor online that I can’t read or write? It’s sad. It really is. I think often if I were a man, a lot of this wouldn’t be the case.”

Fellow actress Jameela Jamil also weighed in, posting that it's ableist to joke about a person's ability to read or write.

"I see a lot of people claiming a certain actress can't read... and then laughing at her. Whatever your issue with someone, and I don't know this woman, or anything about her, but laughing at the idea of *anyone* not being able to read makes YOU look like a prick," Jamil wrote. "An elitist, ableist bore. It's embarrassing for you, not them."

In the caption, Jamil advised followers not to "let the debris of your bullets meant for some... hit those you weren't aiming at. Some people can't read because of disability, learning disabilities, some can't because of a lack of access to education. Your words and actions also affect them."

Michele's latest TikTok video was actually her second that she posted on the platform. Her first was a duet with another TikTok user, in which both of them lip sync to Michele's own voice while she performs Funny Girl's iconic song, "Don't Rain on My Parade." Dressed in cozy pajamas and using a hairbrush as a fake microphone, Michele pretended to ham it up for the audience, while clearly stuck at home.

"Clearly I can't wait to get back to @funnygrlbwy next week," Michele captioned the video, referring again to her COVID diagnosis.

The Glee alum took over the role of Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival earlier this month after the role was vacated by Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein.