Just when Lea Michele thought she was safe…
As you may recall, the actress was the subject of controversy over the summer for allegations of abusive, and even racist, behavior on the set of Glee. She was initially called out by Samantha Ware, who joined the cast in the sixth season, for making her time on the show “a living hell.” After that, the floodgates opened, and Ware was joined by Amber Riley, Alex Newell, and Kevin McHale, among others from the Broadway and beauty communities — in throwing shade Lea’s way.
Heather Morris also called out The Mayor alum’s behavior, though her statement definitely tried to play both sides of the issue. At the time, she tweeted that the actress was “unpleasant to work with,” but defended her against accusations of racism. See below:
On Wednesday, the dancer appeared on the podcast Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino, and explained the wishy-washiness of her statement. She shared:
“People were like, ‘This is so f**king cryptic,’ like, ‘Why don’t you just go and say it?’ I’m like, ‘Guys, she’s pregnant, and all this stuff is going around, and… it’s true’ — and I don’t know if maybe we were victims of bullying and that’s a typical victim thing to do is to blame yourself… But it also is very true, and the only person who was honest about it was Naya .”
(As a reminder, Naya didn’t weigh in on this controversy, which occurred shortly before her untimely death, but she did open up about her own feud with the 34-year-old in her memoir, Sorry Not Sorry.)
Reflecting on her experiences with Lea, Heather continued:
“It was something that was very hush-hush on set, and now you see all these things coming out with these bigger names who were very disrespectful and mistreated a lot of people. We absolutely could have stepped up and gone to the Fox execs and said how we felt about the situation, and nobody really did. And so now we are living in a culture where it’s acceptable to go do things like that, whereas I think many people were very scared. I know, genuinely, I didn’t feel like it was my place. And I don’t know why, because I was a cast member just like everybody else, and we all deserve to feel comfortable on a set.”
“I think it was the elephant in the room, you know like, we all got close with Lea at certain points, and then we all weren’t as close with her. And so there’s a human element to it to understanding who this person is, growing with that person, seeing her try to become better. And, you know, taking care of herself after Corey passed. You know, it was just the elephant in the room.”
Apparently, Heather wasn’t among those the Cannonball singer reached out to privately amid the bullying accusations, because she told Pellegrino she hadn’t heard from the new mom. However, she did wish Lea “the best of luck,” acknowledging she has “a little one at home.”
For the Glee family, on-set bullying accusations were quickly — and understandably — overshadowed by Naya’s tragic passing. Lea made an apology claiming not to remember any of the specific instances named by Samantha, but promised to “be better in the future.” After that, though, the situation was kind of swept under the rug, so we wonder if Heather’s comments may resurface the controversy. Only time will tell!
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