Glee star Samantha Marie Ware says Lea Michele's apology shows 'she hasn't learned anything'
Samantha Marie Ware formally responded to Lea Michele's apology on Thursday, and the actress was not swayed by her former Glee costar's words. "All that her apology did was affirm that she hasn’t learned anything," Ware told Variety.
Michele apologized via Instagram on June 3, after Ware accused the actress of making her time on Glee a "living hell," and said Michele even threatened to "s— in my wig." Ware made the statement in response to Michele tweeting support for Black Lives Matter. In her statement, Michele apologized for being "perceived as insensitive," which Ware criticized in a tweet.
In the interview, Ware went into further detail about working with Michele on Glee, and alleged that the star tried to have her fired and that nobody on set stood up for her.
Ware, who joined the Fox series in its sixth season, said Michele made the threat during a large shoot in front of a crowd of extras and dancers, after Ware was "goofing around when the camera wasn’t on me."
“She waited until the scene was over and she stopped in the middle of the stage and did a ‘come here’ gesture, like how a mother does to their child,” Ware recounted, saying she felt humiliated. "I said ‘no,’ and that’s when she decided to threaten my job, and said she would call [Glee co-creator] Ryan Murphy in to come and fire me."
After the confrontation, Ware said she had a talk with Michele, who then "told me to shut my mouth."
"She said I don’t deserve to have that job,” Ware said. “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.”
To make matters worse, Ware said no one on set stood up for her as they were afraid.
“Lea’s actions were nothing new, so I guess since it was such a common thing, my case didn’t seem like that big of a deal,” Ware said. “I remember the first day I actually spoke up and unfortunately no one did anything. They just shrugged it off, like ‘That’s her.’ No one was stopping these things, which is an issue because the environment was helping perpetuate this abuse.”
Ware said after Michele loudly threatened to defecate in her wig in front of others “some chuckled and some gasped ... but no one was going to stand up to her.”
“Everyone minded their business or said, ‘I’m sorry, I wish I had the power to stop this, but this is just the way it is, and this is just how it’s been’ – which means I wasn’t the first person to have been in that situation,” Ware told Variety.
Last week, Glee star Heather Morris admitted to being part of the problem, when she called Michele "unpleasant to work with" and took responsibility for "[allowing] it to go on for so long without speaking out."
Although Ware made clear she doesn't think Michele is a racist, she said her former castmate's wig comment was racially charged, given that “Black women historically are known for their wigs.”
“It shouldn’t have to take my tweet. When you tweet, 'Black lives matter,' that would mean you have an understanding of what that hashtag means, but it’s clear that it doesn’t,” Ware added. "Does Lea even know what a microaggression is? I don’t know. All that her apology did was affirm that she hasn’t learned anything. Am I calling Lea a racist? No. 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.”
A representative for Michele declined to comment on Ware's allegations.
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