“Let me be very clear, hate is a disease in America that we are trying to cure, so I would never wish for hate to be spread to anyone else. With that said, was she unpleasant to work with? Very much so. For Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she SHOULD be called out,” the actress wrote on Twitter. “Yet, it’s also on us because to allow it to go on for so long without speaking out is something else we’re learning along with the rest of society. But, at the current moment it’s implied that she is a racist and although I cannot comment on her beliefs, I think we’re assuming, and you know what happens when we all assume…”
— heather (@HeatherMorrisTV) June 3, 2020
For those who missed it, the drama all started when Samantha Ware, who famously starred as Jane Hayward in 11 episodes of the Fox TV show, replied to a message on June 1, 2020, that Lea had posted in honor of the Black Lives Matter movement following George Floyd‘s tragic death.
“Remember when you my first television gig a living Hell?!?! ‘Cause I’ll never forget,” she fired back. “I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s**t in my wig’ amongst other traumatic microagressions that made me question a career in Hollywood.”
After Samantha posted her message, other stars, including Alex Newell, Amber Riley and Dabier Snell also got involved. While Alex and Amber just replied with GIFs, Dabier added, “Girl, you wouldn’t let me sit at the table with the other cast members ’cause ‘I didn’t belong there.’ F**k you, Lea.” Plus, Keke Palmer and Ariana Grande, who starred in Scream Queens with Lea, unfollowed her on Instagram.
Amber also spoke out about the situation during an Instagram Live, telling fans, “I don’t give a s**t. People are out here dying, being murdered by police.”
Then, on Tuesday, June 2, Lea broke her silence and posted a lengthy apology to Instagram.
“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,” she said. “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, but 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. 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,” the 33-year-old added. “We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.”
As fans know, George — a 46-year-old, unarmed black man — died in Minneapolis, MN, on May 25, after a police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. The white officer — Derek Chauvin — did not move even as George repeatedly said “I can’t breathe,” as heard in a video captured by bystanders. The officer has since been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while fellow officers Thomas K. Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng — who were also present at the time of the incident — were charged with aiding and abetting murder.
“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,” Lea concluded. “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.”
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