After 'Glee' Costar Said She Made Work 'a Living Hell,' Lea Michele Loses Sponsorship, Apologizes

Wednesday June 3, 2020

Lea Michele is apologizing for her past behavior after her former "Glee" costar Samantha Marie Ware accused the actor of making her life "a living hell" when working on the Fox musical-comedy together. Her statement also comes after the meal-kit company Hello Fresh dropped Michele as a sponsor.

In a statement to People magazine, Michele said she does not remember making the specific remarks Ware said she made, but added that it's "not really the point."

"What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people," Michele said, adding that it is important that she listen to those who she might have hurt in her past. "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 they face.

"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," Michele went on to say, referring to her tweet in which she showed support for George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. "[B]ut 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," Michele told People. "What matters is that I 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 just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused," she continued. "We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.

"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," Michele said. "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."

Her apology comes not long after the Hello Fresh cut ties with Michele as a sponsor, the BBC reports. Responding to a tweet where a Twitter user urged the company to drop Michele, Hello Fresh wrote it "does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind."

"We are disheartened and disappointed to learn of the recent claims concerning Lea Michele," the company added. "We take this very seriously, and have ended our partnership with Lea Michele, effective immediately."

Ware took to Twitter on June 1, retweeting Michele's message where she offered her support for the Black Lives Matter Movement, and said she believes Michele "told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would 'shit in my wig!' Amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me equation a career in Hollywood..."

Ware wasn't the only actor of color to call out Michele. Dabier Snell also responded to Michele, alleging hostility from her while they worked together on "Glee."

"Girl you wouldn't let me sit at the table with the other cast members cause 'I didn't belong there,'" the "Black Lightning" actor wrote. "Fuck you Lea."

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