Michele, who shot to fame on the Ryan Murphy comedy as series lead Rachel Berry, unintentionally kicked off a backlash against herself by posting a tweet in support of Black Lives Matter on Twitter.
“George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesMatter,” Michele tweeted on Saturday.
Except unlike many celebrity statements, the content of her message wasn’t the issue. Instead, it was a green light for Michele’s Black former co-workers to call out her hypocrisy due to their alleged negative experiences with her throughout the run of the Emmy-winning series.
“Glee” alum Samantha Marie Ware was the first to respond to Michele’s tweet claiming that the “Scream Queens” star made her time on the show a “living hell” due to “traumatic microaggressions.”
“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.”
For 11 episodes late in the series, Ware appeared as Jane Hayward, a member of the New Directions Glee club, which was led by Michele’s character during the sixth and final season.
She didn’t further elaborate on her accusations, but her response struck a chord with other “Glee” guest stars and actors, who shared their own unfriendly brushes with Michele.
“Girl, you wouldn’t let me sit at the table with the other cast members cause ‘I didn’t belong there,’” Dabier Snell, a Black actor who had a small role in a Season 5 episode of the series, tweeted on Monday. “Fuck you Lea.”
Original series regular Amber Riley, who appeared as Mercedes Jones since the pilot episode, chimed in by sharing a pair of telling GIFs.
Alex Newell, who parlayed his time on the “Glee Project” into a role on the series during its third season, took a similar route, posting the “Get her, Jade” meme from ”Drag Race.”
While Michele has yet to address the allegations and did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment, she’s already facing some consequences.
On Tuesday, HelloFresh severed all business ties with Michele, who had shared a post on Instagram about her partnership with grocery delivery company just last month.
“HelloFresh does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind. We are disheartened and disappointed to learn of the recent claims concerning Lea Michele,” the brand posted on its official Twitter account. “We take this very seriously, and have terminated our partnership with Lea Michele, effective immediately.”
Fans of the “Glee” are well aware that tensions ran high behind the scenes, especially between Michele and co-star Naya Rivera, who starred as her onscreen rival Santana Lopez.
In her 2016 memoir “Sorry Not Sorry,” Rivera insisted that the rumors of their rivalry were “blown out of proportion,” but she did give some insight into the on-set dynamics.
“As Santana moved from a background character to one with bigger plot lines and more screen time. I think Rachel — erm, I mean Lea — didn’t like sharing the spotlight,” Rivera wrote. “If I’d complained about anyone or anything, she’d assumed I was bitching about her. Soon, she started to ignore me, and eventually it got to the point where she didn’t say a word to me for all of Season 6.”
And now we turn on our Twitter notifications and wait for Rivera to respond.