The singer and actor talked about her relationship with Michele to journalist Danielle Young in an Instagram Live interview on Wednesday, weighing in on the drama sparked on Twitter earlier this week.
On Monday, in response to a tweet by Michele about Black Lives Matter, fellow “Glee” star Samantha Marie Ware fired back at her and said Michele made “Glee” a “living hell”.
“Remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?! Cause I’ll never forget,” Ware tweeted in all caps. “I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘shit in my wig!’ amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood.”
Riley, who previously addressed the controversy on Twitter with some giggly GIFs, told Young that she wasn’t sure how to address what was said. She said she was proud of Ware for “standing up for herself” and “not being fearful.”
The 34-year-old said that she wouldn’t call Michele a racist and added that “a lot of Black actors and actresses” were “telling me their stories and were letting me know that they have dealt with the same things, being on set and terrorized by the white girls that are the leads of the show.”
Riley summed up her feelings by saying, “I don’t give a shit about this Lea Michele thing. I really don’t give a fuck. I don’t. I don’t want to be asked about it — and I’m not talking to you, I’m talking about everyone else.”
Riley added: “I don’t give a shit. People are out here dying. Being murdered by police. Trans women are being murdered at the hands of men who are upset about being trans-attracted.” Riley said she wishes Michele well and hopes “she has grown.”
Michele apologised on Instagram on Wednesday with a lengthy note acknowledging that she “clearly acted in ways that hurt other people” but added that she wasn’t aware of the specific incident Ware referenced in her tweet.
“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 any pain which I have caused,” Michele wrote. “We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.”
Riley said that she didn’t read the apology because she doesn’t “give a shit about it.”
“She reached out to me; I responded to her. That’s where it ends for me,” Riley added. “I ain’t talk to that girl in two years, you know what I’m saying? I have no hatred or ill will on that end, and I want to make that very clear, that my life and what I talk about is not going to be about that. I will shut it down immediately. This is the first and last time I’m gonna say something.”
Previously, Michele’s behaviour on the show’s set was touched on in “Glee” co-star Naya Rivera’s 2016 memoir, “Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up.” Rivera wrote that Michele “didn’t like sharing the spotlight” and that the pair didn’t speak during the last season of the show.
Also this week, another co-star ― Heather Morris ― tweeted after Ware’s missive that Michele was “unpleasant to work with” and that because she treated “others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she SHOULD be called out.”