Glee's Samantha Ware Says Lea Michele 'Threatened To Get Her Fired'

The actor elaborated on previous claims she made about Lea's behind-the-scenes behaviour.

Former Glee actor Samantha Ware has delved deeper into her experience of working with Lea Michele, saying it was “very evident” that her co-star disliked her from their first day together on set.

“There was nothing gradual about it,” Samantha — who played Jane Hayward on 11 episodes of Glee’s final series — told Variety. “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.”

After shooting wrapped on one of their shared scenes, Samantha said Lea vowed to take things to the next level by getting her fired.

“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,” she said. “I said ‘No,’ and that’s when she decided to threaten my job, and said she would call [series creator] Ryan Murphy in to come and fire me.”

Samantha Ware and Lea Michele
Samantha Ware and Lea Michele

Following the confrontation, Samantha said she “tried to speak up for myself,” but Lea wasn’t having any of it.

“She told me to shut my mouth,” Samantha said. “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.”

When contacted by HuffPost, a spokeswoman for Lea Michele declined to comment on Samantha Ware’s latest claims.

Lea Michele – who is expecting her first child later this year – shot to fame on Glee as series lead Rachel Berry, and has been dogged by rumours about what detractors consider “diva behaviour” for years.

When she posted a tweet last week in support of Black Lives Matter, Samantha fired back, saying that Lea had made her time on Glee a “living hell” with “traumatic microaggression..”

Samantha’s tweet drew a flurry of supportive responses from a number of other Black Glee actors, including Alex Newell and Amber Riley.

Heather Morris, who played Brittany S. Pierce on the series, aired her own grievances about working with Michele, as did Broadway performers Gerard Canonico and Elizabeth Aldrich.

Meanwhile, meal-kit company HelloFresh has ended its partnership with Lea in the wake of the allegations.

In an Instagram post earlier this month, Lea issued an apology in which she acknowledged she’d “clearly acted in ways that hurt other people” but emphasised that she didn’t recall the specific incident cited by Samantha.

“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 any pain which I have caused,” she wrote.

“We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.”

Speaking to Variety, Samantha said that while she didn’t believe in “cancel culture”, she hoped that Lea would use the controversy to educate herself on matters of white privilege.

“Does Lea even know what a microaggression is? I don’t know,” she said. “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.”


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