Since Tuesday’s news that Glee star Mark Salling died of an apparent suicide, the cast and creators of the Fox hit have largely remained silent on social media. But a small group, including actor Matthew Morrison, have paid tribute.
On Instagram, Morrison (Will Schuester) recognized both Salling and Cory Monteith, who died of an overdose in 2013, by sharing a photo of the three actors along with two angel emojis and a frown emoji in the center. Glee costar Jenna Ushkowitz, who played Tina, liked the photo and posted her own heart emoji in the comments section.
Iqbal Theba, who played Principal Figgins on the show, also expressed his shock on Twitter, writing, “Oh Mark.”
Tim Davis, a vocal arranger on the show since the beginning, tweeted about Salling’s death as well. The last of his two messages was retweeted by Jane Lynch, who played Sue Sylvester.
“Today we lost another #Glee cast member,” penned Davis in his first tweet. “Yes, he committed crimes against children.Yes, it’s horrific. But #MarkSalling was a broken man, no doubt an abuse victim himself. I loved Mark, and am sad when I consider the devastation of his parents. PLEASE withhold your cruel comments.”
Davis continued in a second tweet: “Let me be clear. Having compassion for #MarkSalling in no way minimizes his crimes, nor does it minimize the pain and devastation of the victims of those crimes. I’m just saying stop adding to his family’s pain. This was their son. If you’re without sin, feel free to cast stones.”
Lynch spoke to a TMZ cameraperson on Tuesday, saying the death was “sad and very tragic.”
Salling, who starred on Glee from 2009-15, was arrested in 2015 after authorities said they found more than 25,000 images and 600 videos depicting child pornography on computers and thumb drives owned by the actor. In October, he pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal that carried a sentence of four to seven years and required Salling to register as a sex offender.
Salling’s lawyer confirmed the actor’s death on Tuesday. “I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning,” said Michael J. Proctor in a statement to EW. “Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment. He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother. The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected.”