Everyone was pretty shook when Glee star Samantha Ware completely slammed Lea Michele online and claimed she made her life “a living Hell” on set. Now, the actress, who famously starred as Jane Hayward in 11 episodes of the Fox series, has opened up about why she decided to speak up and if she thinks Lea has learned from the situation.
“All that her apology did was affirm that she hasn’t learned anything. Am I calling Lea a racist? No. Does Lea have racist tendencies? I think Lea suffers from a symptom of living in this world in an industry that is tailored to white people,” she explained to Variety in a new interview.
For those who missed it, the drama all started when Samantha 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 that, many other stars, including Heather Morris, Dabier Snell, Jordan Pruitt, Amber Riley and more spoke out and accused the actress of treating them badly behind-the-scenes. Lea then issued a public apology on her Instagram.
“I knew from day one when I attempted to introduce myself. There was nothing gradual about it. As soon as she decided that she didn’t like me, it was very evident,” Samantha revealed when the outlet asked her when she first figured out that Lea didn’t like her. “It was after I did my first performance, that’s when it started — the silent treatment, the stare-downs, the looks, the comments under her breath, the weird passive aggressiveness. It all built up.”
“Lea’s actions were nothing new, so I guess since it was such a common thing, my case didn’t seem like that big of a deal,” she continued. “I remember the first day I actually spoke up and unfortunately no one did anything. They just shrugged it off, like, ‘That’s her.’ No one was stopping these things, which is an issue because the environment was helping perpetuate this abuse.”
Samantha even recalled a time that Lea threatened to get her fired from the show.
“I was goofing around when the camera wasn’t on me, and she took that as me being disrespectful to her. She waited until the scene was over and she stopped in the middle of the stage and did a ‘come here’ gesture, like how a mother does to their child,” the What/If star said.
Lea demanded, “You need to come here right now,” according to Samantha.
“I said ‘no,’ and that’s when she decided to threaten my job, and said she would call Ryan Murphy in to come and fire me,” she added. “It’s scary. For the full week, I was thinking I’m probably going to get an email and I might not be able to do the last three episodes, or I might not be able to sing another song.”
“When I tried to speak up for myself, she told me to shut my mouth. She said I don’t deserve to have that job,” the brunette beauty explained. “She talked about how she has reign. And here’s the thing: I completely understood that, and I was ready to be like, ‘This is your show. I’m not here to be disrespectful.’ But at that point, we were already past the respect and she was just abusing her power.”
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