Jackie O reveals how she offended former Glee star Lea Michele
Jackie O reveals how she offended former Glee star Lea Michele and was put on a banned list by her PR company. Courtesy: Kiis FM
Former Glee star Lea Michele is facing more backlash after issuing a lengthy apology amid allegations of “nightmare” behaviour from former colleagues.
Her apology came after Samantha Ware – who played Jane Hayward on the hit musical series for its sixth season in 2015 – responded to a tweet written by Michele amid the riots in the US, claiming the actor made her time on the show a “living hell”.
In an all-caps response to Michele’s post, Ware wrote that she would “never forget” the “traumatic microagressions” she claims to have received from the star – including a shocking allegation that she had “told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘sh*t in my wig’.”
RELATED: Infamous Glee curse hits Lea Michele
Shortly after she posted her tweet, food delivery brand HelloFresh announced it was ending its partnership with Michele, declaring it “does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind” while a number of other Glee stars appeared to publicly back up Ware’s allegations.
On Tuesday evening, Michele shared a lengthy statement, in which she wrote that while she didn’t “remember” the specific behaviour she’d been accused of, she had “clearly acted in ways which hurt other people”.
“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 being unnecessarily difficult, I apologise for my behaviour,” Michele said.
But far from putting a stop to the flow of bad press, Michele’s apology has sparked a wave of backlash and a fresh round of accusations including claims she called Glee extras “cockroaches” and had people “fired on a whim”.
Two of her former castmates from Broadway musical Spring Awakening, in which she starred from 2006-2008, have now also come forward, describing her as a “nightmare” to others on set.
“You were nothing but a nightmare to me and fellow understudy cast members. You made us feel like we didn’t belong there. I tried for years to be nice to you to no avail. Maybe actually apologise instead of placing the blame on how others “perceive” you. You’ll probably just delete this comment though,” Gerard Canonico wrote.
Another Spring Awakening star, Emma Hunton, was also quick to criticise Michele’s statement, writing simply: “This isn’t an apology.”
Even ex-Real Housewives Of New York star Aviva Drescher weighed in with her own unpleasant encounter with Michele.
“You were once very unkind to me so I am not surprised by your behaviour. You shouldn’t judge others before looking in the mirror,” she tweeted.
Meanwhile, more members of Glee’s cast and crew have spoken out against Michele, with Heather Morris – who played Brittany S. Pierce on the series – describing her as “very unpleasant” to work with.
Actor, singer and dancer Marcus S. Daniel also joined the chorus, claiming Michele was “abusive, rude, condescending and at many times downright cruel” in the “many times” they’d worked together over the years.
“There was no excuse for your behaviour. You have so much talent, but there is so much hate within your heart,” he wrote.
“You said one incredibly cruel thing to me once and you didn’t even know my name. Everyone who has worked with you carries those memories with them.
“An Instagram apology written in your ‘notes’ app just doesn’t cut it. This isn’t an isolated incident. It’s YEARS of crap you’ve pulled that people are bringing up.
“You used to call extras on Glee ‘cockroaches’ and you got people fired on a whim. You have much work to do. MUCH.”
Another of Michele’s former Glee colleagues, Chase Edmondson – who worked in production for seasons three and four – shared a shocking story of an encounter with the star.
“My strongest memory of you was storming out of the Glee classroom set yelling, ‘Does anyone have gum?’” he replied in the comments section of her apology.
“I was standing about 10 feet from you with gum already in hand. When I said ‘I do’, offering it to you, you just looked at me and said ‘Ew’ before walking off to crafty on the next stage.
“Hopefully you’ve grown as a person and treat people better on sets.”
In the wake of her original tweet, Ware was fiercely supported by other Glee cast members with at least four coming forward backing her claims, including central cast members Alex Newell (Unique Adams) and Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones), who weighed in with not-so-cryptic responses.
Responding to fans who questioned the version of events, Newell wrote: “Child we ain’t got not a damn thing to lie about six years later.”
Riley tweeted several GIFs of herself throwing knowing glances as the original tweet gained traction on social media.
Popular drag queen and actor Willam Belli also weighed in, saying he left the set of Glee after Michele treated him “subhuman”. Belli is understood to have been booked for an episode in 2012 but never ended up appearing on the series.
Lea treated me so subhuman i left the set of Glee. Pass the ?? https://t.co/LKCHadWLqI— Willam (@willam) June 2, 2020
An extra actor named Dabier also detailed his experience after appearing in an episode of the show in 2014, responding to the tweet revealing Michele told him he “couldn’t sit at her table” because he “didn’t belong there”.