Glee star Samantha Ware speaks out after Lea Michele cast in Funny Girl: 'Silence is complicity'
While reactions to Lea Michele being cast in Funny Girl have ranged from "funny" to girl, Michele may be belting out "Don't Rain on My Parade" once Samantha Ware brings around the clouds from Twitter.
Ware, who co-starred with Michele on the sixth season of Glee, responded to news of Michele's coup on the Great White Way by emphasizing... well, the "White" part.
"Yes, Broadway upholds whiteness. Yes, Hollywood does the same," Ware said in a tweet this morning, referencing Michele replacing Beanie Feldstein. "Yes, silence is complicity. Yes, I'm loud. Yes, I'd do it again."
Two years ago, Ware took to Twitter to accuse Michele of making her life on Glee "a living hell" when she, among other things, allegedly threatened to s--- in Ware's wig.
"She said I don't deserve to have that job," Ware said in a subsequent Variety interview. "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."
At the time, Ware was particularly critical of the fact that no one did anything to stop or address the future Fanny Brice's behavior, and two years later, Ware is unsurprised that that behavior is seemingly being rewarded.
Though Michele went on to issue an apology of sorts on Instagram with the promise to "be better in the future," Ware found her mea culpa as just further evidence that the Emmy-nominee "hasn't learned anything."
"Am I calling Lea a racist? No," Ware told Variety. "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."
Ware was not the only one of Michele's costars to speak out against the actress' treatment of others. Heather Morris, who played queer cheerleader Brittany S. Pierce, called the erstwhile Rachel Berry very "unpleasant to work with."
"For Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she SHOULD be called out," Morris tweeted.
Olivier Award winner Amber Riley refused to weigh in directly on the Ware-Michele drama, though she did note that she had received countless messages from Black actors and actresses sharing stories about "being on set and terrorized by the white girls that are the leads of their show."
Neither Ware nor Riley considered Michele racist, though they both raised issues about the abuse of power and privilege and how the culture of Hollywood tends to look the other way. Ware went a step further and called out Broadway — which at least seems more committed to diversity when it comes to doling out awards — for doing the same.
Meanwhile, Lea Michele won't be eligible for a Tony when she premieres in Funny Girl on Sept. 6