In a lengthy note posted to Instagram, the actor and singer acknowledged that she “clearly acted in ways that hurt other people,” but said she didn’t recall a specific incident cited by Samantha Marie Ware on Twitter.
“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 apologise for my behaviour and any pain which I have caused,” she wrote. “We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.”
Michele, who is expecting her first child with husband Zandy Reich later this year, said impending motherhood had compelled her to “keep working to better myself and take responsibility for my own actions.”
“I listened to these criticisms and am learning and while I am very sorry, I will be better in the future from this experience,” she concluded.
Though “Glee” wrapped in 2015 after six seasons, rumours about Michele’s “diva behaviour” on the show’s set had continued to be the subject of media speculation. In her 2016 memoir “Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up,” actor Naya Rivera wrote Michele “didn’t like sharing the spotlight,” and stopped speaking to her altogether during the show’s final season.
The latest round of accusations, however, were considerably more detailed ― and troubling. After Michele posted a tweet late Monday in support of Black Lives Matter, Ware claimed her co-star had made her time on “Glee” a “living hell” due to “traumatic microaggressions.”
“LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET,” Ware, who played Jane Hayward in 11 “Glee” episodes opposite Michele as Rachel Berry, wrote. “I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD ‘SHIT IN MY WIG!’ AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD.”
Several of Michele’s other Black “Glee” co-stars, including Alex Newell and Amber Riley, appeared to signal their approval of Ware’s sentiment in cheeky GIFs.
Michele began experiencing the ramifications late Tuesday when HelloFresh announced it was severing their partnership.
“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 company wrote on Twitter. “We take this very seriously, and have terminated our partnership with Lea Michele, effective immediately.”