A day after Glee actor Samantha Ware (What/If, Chicago Med, God Friended Me) took to social media to accuse her former co-star Lea Michele of making her time on the show "a living hell" through a series of "traumatic microaggressions" that left her to "question a career in Hollywood", Michele has issued a statement to PEOPLE apologizing for anything she may have done that "hurt other people." While she doesn't remember making the remarks Ware referenced in her post, the actress says that in the bigger picture of what's going on that's "not really the point." Ware's comments came in response to a tweet Michele posted over the weekend against the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and in support of Black Lives Matter. Sources close to Michele also told the website that the actress "has reached out to a few of her former cast members and spoke to a couple of them."
"What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people. One of the most important lessons of the last few weeks is that we need to take the time to listen and learn about other people's perspectives and any role we have played or anything we can do to help address the injustices that they face. When I tweeted the other day, it was meant to be a show of support for our friends and neighbors and communities of color during this really difficult time. But the responses I received to what I posted have made me also focus specifically on how my own behavior towards fellow cast members was perceived by them.
While I don't remember ever making this specific statement and I have never judged others by their background or color of their skin, that's not really the point. What matters is that I 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. We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.
I am a couple of months from becoming a mother and I know I need to keep working to better myself and take responsibility for my actions, so that I can be a real role model for my child and so I can pass along my lessons and mistakes, so that they can learn from me. I listened to these criticisms and I am learning and while I am very sorry, I will be better in the future from this experience."
In Ware's tweet, the actress' all-caps accusation includes a threat from Michele to "s— in [her] wig" and reveals the impact it had on her: "Remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?! Cause I'll never forget. I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would 's— in my wig!' amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood."
Cast in the recurring role of Jane Hayward during the sixth season of Glee and appearing in 11 episodes, Ware received social media support from fellow cast members Alex Newell (Unique Adams) and Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones). Dabier (who appeared in Season 5 episode "New Directions") showed support for Wade while revealing a personal run-in with Michele.
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 "SHIT IN MY WIG!" AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD… https://t.co/RkcaMBmtDA
— SAMEYAAAAAA (@Sammie_Ware) June 2, 2020
— Alex Newell (@thealexnewell) June 2, 2020
— Amber Patrice Riley (@MsAmberPRiley) June 2, 2020
GIRL YOU WOULDNT LET ME SIT AT THE TABLE WITH THE OTHER CAST MEMBERS CAUSE "I DIDNT BELONG THERE" FUCK YOU LEA https://t.co/s4NoLdtqRs
— Dabier (@OfficialDabier) June 2, 2020
On Monday, meal kit company HelloFresh announced it was severing its ties with Michele, saying in a statement: "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." Representatives for the Glee star say "the partnership was nearing its conclusion regardless."