Unfortunately, the former cast of Glee seems to have really bad luck overall. A lot of the original members have come in contact with some type of controversy or hardship in one way or another. And if 2020 didn’t seem like a weird year already, the floodgates of complaints against Lea Michele definitely added a bit of entertainment for some and shock for others. And now, that added scrutiny on Michele brought up an older conspiracy theory that the actress is illiterate.
Lea Michele is in hot water with accusations of racism and rude behavior from former castmates
George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed by a Minnesota police officer, and protests have taken place across the world since. Amid the unrest in America because of police brutality and Floyd’s death, a lot of people with social media platforms are speaking out about the injustice and sharing resources.
On May 29, Michele tweeted, “George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesMatter.”
And that’s when Samantha Ware, who played Jane Hayward in the final season of Glee, shared her story involving Michele. She wrote,
LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET. 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…
This opened up so many other actors and co-stars to come forward with their horror stories about Michele. From co-stars, Alex Newell, Amber Riley, and Heather Morris to others, people either said she was difficult to work with or insinuated it.
Michele apologized for any ‘perceived’ racism or mistreatment
On June 3, Michele issued an apology on Instagram.
“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. She then explained that she was trying to show solidarity with Floyd. Then she said that these callouts made her focus on how she’s “perceived” by others.
“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,” she continued.
In response, Ware just sent out a tweet with the words, “Perceived? Purcieved? Purse? Open your purse??????????????,” and linked a GoFundMe page for James Scurlock, a Black man who was protesting Floyd’s death and was killed by a white man named Jacob Gardner.
Twitter is bringing up a conspiracy theory that Michele can’t read from 2018
In all of this Glee drama and flurry of internet excitement, a 2018 conspiracy theory about Michele came back with a vengeance. This all came in the form of jokes, all poking fun at Michele because this theory suggests that she can’t read.
As BuzzFeed reported on March 25, 2018, a Podcast called One More Thing posted a 40-minute video that gathered “evidence” Michele couldn’t read. That video is, unfortunately, gone now, but based a couple of articles, the “proof” still remains.
For one, Naya Rivera’s autobiography Sorry Not Sorry had a paragraph that stated Michele would only ever recite what was written in her script and not improvise. When questioned in 2016 when the book was released, Michele said to “Read the book. ” This led the two podcast hosts, Jaye Hunt and Robert Ackerman, to dig deeper, according to Stylecaster.
They looked at her habits and history. She started acting on Broadway so young, they theorized that she didn’t need to or didn’t read her lines, she just memorized them from what she was told to say. And they also noted that there aren’t really any pictures of Michele writing at autograph signings. They also mocked her signature and other instances, like not writing her name on camera for an Instagram video.
There are other examples they gave, but either way it stuck with the internet and her latest controversy was just a reminder for the people of Twitter. Because, even if you play along and deny it, the internet has a great memory for things like this.