Lea Michele has responded to former Glee co-star Samantha Marie Ware's statement that Michele made Ware's "first television gig a living hell" during production of Fox's musical-comedy series, that Michele told others that she would "sh-- in [Ware's] wig," and that Michele's "microaggressions" made Ware reconsider pursuing a career in Hollywood. In an Instagram post shared Wednesday, Michele wrote that she did not remember making that specific statement but admitted that she "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," Michele added. "We can all grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings."
Ware shared her experience working with Michele on Twitter Monday night, quote-tweeting a message Michele had posted about the police killing of George Floyd. "LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD "SH-- IN MY WIG!" AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD..." Ware wrote.
Following Ware's tweet, several other Glee alums showed support for the actress on social media, including Alex Newell, who shared Ware's statement along with a supportive GIF. Newell later wrote, "I'm gonna say this one time... when my friends goes through something traumatic I also go through it... that's what friendship is... and if you can't understand that then you're part of the problem... and that's on PERIODT! And I mean that for both sides of this coin!"
Amber Patrice Riley also appeared to support Ware's statement about Michele by posting several GIFs on Twitter, including one of her sipping tea, which were also retweeted by Newell.
Melissa Benoist liked the posts shared by Ware, Newell, and Riley. Glee actor Dabier Snell also shared his own story of working with Michele, alleging that Michele bullied him on the set of the series. "GIRL YOU WOULDNT LET ME SIT AT THE TABLE WITH THE OTHER CAST MEMBERS CAUSE 'I DIDNT BELONG THERE' F--- YOU LEA," Snell wrote.
Following these accusations, meal-kit delivery service HelloFresh posted that it was dropping Michele from its sponsorship deal with the actress. In a statement on Twitter shared Tuesday, the company wrote, "HelloFresh does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind. We are disheartened and disappointed to learn of the recent claims concerning Lea Michele. We take this very seriously, and have ended our partnership with Lea Michele, effective immediately."