The recent growing momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement has seen numerous celebrities speaking out against racial injustices on social media, including Glee star Lea Michele (who played Rachel Berry on the hit show).
Taking to Twitter to air her support, she wrote, "George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesMatter." However, her message was met with accusations from her former co-star, actress Samantha Ware (who portrayed Jane Hayward), of racist bullying on set.
Quoting Michele's tweet, Ware said: "LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISION GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD “SH*T IN MY WIG!” AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICRO-AGGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD..."
Following the accusations, Michele took to Instagram to post a statement about her original tweet, and although she does not directly name or address Ware, she does reference her own "behaviour towards fellow cast members".
In her statement, Michele adds that she doesn't "remember ever making this specific statement [tweeted by Ware] and I have never judged others by their background or color of their skin".
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
— SAMEYAAAAAA (@Sammie_Ware) June 2, 2020
Michele also added,"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."
The statement was met with mixed response from her 6.3 million followers, one of whom wrote “Well it’s not really a direct apology to the people you hurt”. Another said, "We Love you, but please you need to think about your behavior!!"
In her Instagram post, Michele stated that she hoped the experience will help to shape her as a parent (she is due to give birth this summer): "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."
Since the accusations, it's been reported that Michele has been dropped from the food kit home delivery service HelloFresh.
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