Lea Michele ‘Did a Lot of Personal Reach-Outs’ to ‘Glee’ Costars After Bullying Claims
Making amends. Lea Michele revealed that she reached out to her Glee costars after several of the former cast members came forward with claims that she was a bully on set.
“I think these past two years have been so important for everybody to just sit back and reflect,” Lea, 36, told Interview Magazine in a story published on Tuesday, February 7. “I did a lot of personal reach-outs.”
She added that she took the claims seriously and tried to learn from her past mistakes.
“The most important thing was for everybody to just take a step back,” the Funny Girl actress told the outlet. “More than anything, I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to apply the things that I’ve learned over the past 10-plus years in a positive way.”
“What I told myself stepping into Funny Girl was, ‘If I can’t take my role as a leader offstage as important as my role as a leader onstage, then I shouldn’t do this show.’ Because that was always a struggle for me,” Lea continued. “So to have this opportunity now at 36 years old as a wife and a mother – to step into this job that comes with so much pressure and a huge amount of responsibility – was a very, very big achievement for me.”
The Broadway star went on to note that the Glee drama taught her that “what matters the most is how you make people feel.”
“The conversations that I’ve had behind the scenes with some people were incredibly healing and very eye-opening for me,” Lea explained. “I’ve been doing this for a really long time and I’m not going to ever blame anything on the things that I’ve been through in my life. But you also can’t ignore those experiences or deny them. They are a part of the patchwork of my life.”
In June 2020, Lea – who starred on the Fox series as Rachel Berry from 2009 until 2015 – was accused of creating a toxic work environment on set.
The allegations first came to light when Samantha Ware slammed Lea on Twitter for the way she acted on set. “LMAO remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?” Samantha, 31, wrote at the time. “‘Cause I’ll never forget. I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s–t in my wig’ amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood … ”
After the initial claims were made, several other stars from the show – including Heather Morris, Alex Newell and Amber Riley – backed up Samantha’s allegations.
The Scream Queens alum later apologized for her behavior. However, she claimed that she didn’t recall the allegations made against her.
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