Many celebrities are speaking out this week against police brutality and systemic racism in light of George Floyd's killing at the hands of police. Whether they're urging followers to donate to bail funds, encouraging us to call politicians or posting a questionable black square and signing off, famous people are flooding our feeds rather than amplifying Black voices first and foremost. Now, several Glee stars are taking to Twitter to enlighten us that not every supportive message from a celebrity can be taken at face value. Case in point: Lea Michele.
Michele tweeted this weekend that Floyd's murder was undeserved, was "not an isolated incident" and police brutality "must end."
This didn't sit well with some of Michele's fellow ex-Glee cast members, who didn't recall her having as much empathy for Black colleagues on set. It all started with Glee actor Samantha Ware, who played Jane Hayward on the show. On Monday, she replied to Michele's Tweet, claiming that the actress made her first television gig "a living hell." She recalled one time when Michele told "everyone" that if she had the chance, she'd shit in Ware's wig, but qualified that this was just one among many of Michele's "TRAUMATIC MICROAGGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD."
LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVE… https://t.co/ig5R42SMFw
Glee castmembers and other Black actors were quick to back up Ware. Alex Newell, who played Unique Adams, affirmed her, saying "we ain't got not a damn thing to lie about six years later," and "when my friends goes through something I also go through it."
Amber Riley, who played Mercedes Jones on Glee for six years, dropped a subtle tea-sipping gif, evidently in reference to Ware's tweet. Us Weekly also caught that Melissa Benoist, who played Marley Grace on season four of Glee, liked Newell and Riley's tweets. Stars like Darren Criss, Chris Colfer, Dianna Agron and Kevin McHale have yet to comment.
The whole ordeal is emblematic of a new movement of online discourse, in which brands and celebrities are held accountable to the politics they preach online in their professional and personal lives. Will we soon live in a world where white people can't score political clout without real praxis?