Heather Morris says Glee costar Lea Michele was 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," the actress said of her former costar.
Glee star Heather Morris is adding to the list of criticisms that have been launched against costar Lea Michele after actress Samantha Marie Ware called working with Michele "a living hell" in a tweet on Monday and several costars chimed in with similar sentiments.
On Wednesday, Morris, who played Brittany on Glee, opened up about her own experience working alongside Michele on the Ryan Murphy show for six seasons.
“Let me be very clear, hate is a disease in America that we are trying to cure, so I would never wish for hate to be spread on anyone else," Morris tweeted. "With that said, was she unpleasant to work with? Very much so; 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 also took responsibility for not calling Michele out sooner, at a time when the behavior could've still been corrected. “It’s also on us because to allow it to go on for so long without speaking out is something else we’re learning along with the rest of society," she wrote.
She also mentioned that she didn't necessarily agree with labeling Michele as racist for her behavior toward Ware, who is black. "At the current moment it's implied that she is a racist and although I cannot comment on her beliefs, I think we're assuming, and you know what happens when we all assume..."
Hours before Morris' post, Michele released an apology and promised to do better.
"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," she wrote.
"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."
Shortly after Ware's initial tweet, Glee star Amber Riley posted a couple telling reaction GIFs, including one of her sipping tea, and Glee's Alex Newell and Yvette Nicole Brown, who costared with Michele on The Mayor, interacted with one another in a thread supporting Ware speaking out.
Actor Dabier and Rupaul's Drag Race alum Willam Belli, who each guested in one episode Glee, also opened up about their own negative experiences with Michele.
30 Rock star Keith Powell also weighed in, claiming Michele "has said terrible things to many different types of people, including racist micoagressions to/about black people." He did not elaborate on who she had said these things to and it is unclear if they have worked togehter.
And actor Bernard David Jones, who also starred with Michele on The Mayor, quote tweeted a fan who suggested the short-lived sitcom would have been more successful if it had focused on several other actors "instead of wasting the narrative" on Michele's character.
However, Michele's Glee costar Iqbal Theba (Principal Figgins) came to her defense after first commenting on Morris' statement, writing, "Heather, you were always kind to everyone & I love you for that. Yours is one of my fondest memories of our great show."
He then went on to send two tweets of his own addressing his own interactions with Michele. "Lot of people r assuming that @LeaMichele mistreated me," he wrote. "Let me state it clearly that I was never mistreated by her. And if some of the cast were treated badly then she has apologized for it which is wonderful. But being called a racist is too heavy & unfair a burden 4 most of us, specially in these troubled times. So, please be compassionate, careful & responsible before we accuse anyone of this horrible thing called racism. I love each & everyone of my fellow cast members from our great show @OfficialGLEEtv Be safe & be well. Much love"