Lea Michele‘s much-anticipated mea culpa has arrived.
The Glee actress posted a lengthy statement on Instagram early Wednesday in which she apologized to former co-star Samantha Ware, who earlier this week accused Michele of making her brief time on the former Fox phenom “a living hell.”
The whole kerfuffle ignited on Monday when Michele expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement on Twitter. In response, Ware — who played female Warbler-turned-New Directioner Jane — wrote, “LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD “SHIT IN MY WIG!” AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD…”
Although Michele’s apology doesn’t mention Ware by name, it does address some of her former co-star’s accusations. “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,” she wrote. “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.”
Read Michele’s entire statement below:
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 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.
UPDATE: Ware seems to have responded to Michele’s apology, posting a tweet on Wednesday that read, “Perceived? Purcieved? Purse? Open your purse??????????????” The tweet included a link to a GoFundMe page for the family of James Scurlock, a 22-year-old Black man who was shot and killed in Omaha, Neb. in May while protesting the murder of George Floyd.
Following her Twitter takedown of Michele on Monday, Ware received support from several Glee alums. Alex Newell (Unique) replied to Ware’s tweet with a classic gif of RuPaul looking very interested, and Amber Riley (Mercedes) tweeted this gif shortly thereafter. Melissa Benoist (Marley), meanwhile, liked Ware’s initial post.
Heather Morris (Brittany) weighed in as well, tweeting the following on Wednesday:
— heather (@HeatherMorrisTV) June 3, 2020
Iqbal Theba (Principal Figgins) also addressed the controversy:
Michele’s ex-Mayor co-star, Yvette Nicole Brown, was among those who threw her support behind Ware, tweeting, “I felt every one of those capital letters.”
I felt every one of those capital letters. ✊🏾
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) June 2, 2020
In the wake of the controversy, recipe kit delivery service HelloFresh terminated Michele as a spokesperson. “HelloFresh does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind,” the company said in a statement. “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.”