The actress who first exposed Lea Michele as an alleged ‘mean girl’ has now detailed how the Glee star made her life hell on the set of the TV show.
Michele has apologised for her bad behaviour behind the scenes after several of her former castmates – led by Samantha Ware – accused her of bullying last month.
Ware has since suggested her former co-star should donate cash to a Black Lives Matter cause as a way of saying sorry to her – a proud African-American woman, and now she’s going into details about how Lea tormented her.
In a new interview with Variety, Samantha says, “I knew from day one (I didn’t like her) 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.
“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.”
Ware admits she tried to raise Michele’s bad behaviour with other castmembers but they just “shrugged it off”. She adds, “No one was stopping these things, which is an issue because the environment was helping perpetuate this abuse.”
Samantha thinks Lea decided not to welcome her to the set after unintentionally offending the show’s leading lady off camera.
“When you’re shooting a scene, sometimes the camera is on you and sometimes it’s not, but you still have to be in the scene,” she explains. “The camera wasn’t on us, so it’s not like we had to give a full throttle performance, but apparently, 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… 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. 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. 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.”
And Ware feels Lea went too far by threatening to defecate in her wig – a claim she made while calling out the actress last month.
“She had an issue because I had laughed and that’s when the ‘I’m going to s**t in your wig’ comment happened. Some chuckled and some gasped. It was mortifying. The whole point was for her to embarrass me. People heard her, but no one was going to stand up to her… Black women historically are known for their wigs.
“Everyone minded their business or said, ‘I’m sorry, I wish I had the power to stop this, but this is just the way it is, and this is just how it’s been’, which means I wasn’t the first person to have been in that situation… 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.”
Heather Morris has also spoken out about Lea’s bad behaviour on the set of Glee but made it clear that it’s wrong to imply she’s racist, and another Glee regular, Iqbal Theba added: “Being called a racist is too heavy & unfair a burden 4 most of us, specially in these troubled times, so please be compassionate, careful & responsible before we accuse anyone of this horrible thing called racism.”