'Glee' Co-Star Samantha Ware Calls Out Lea Michele 'Funny Girl' Casting

'Glee' Co-Star Samantha Ware Calls Out Lea Michele 'Funny Girl' Casting

by Justine Fisher

The not-so-harmonious set of Glee resurfaces, as former castmate Samantha Ware calls out Lea Michele’s casting in Funny Girl on Broadway, tweeting, “Yes, Broadway upholds whiteness. Yes, Hollywood does the same.”

After joining the Glee cast in 2015, with Michele who had been starring in the series since 2009, Ware first shared the “microaggressions” she faced on set with Michele in 2020. She replied to Michele’s #BlackLivesMatter tweet, writing in all caps, “Remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?! Cause I’ll never forget. I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s— in my wig!’ amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood.”

With backlash that included losing her endorsement deal with HelloFresh, Michele opted to send a personal apology to Ware’s representatives. But, Ware felt the letter didn’t reflect growth from Michele and said to Variety in 2020 that “Lea suffers from a symptom of living in this world in an industry that is tailored to white people.”

After Ware spoke out, there was a flood of responses from people in the industry, including Glee castmates Alex Newell, who replied with a GIF that said “get her,” and Heather Morris, who corroborated Michele’s behavior admitting she and others failed to stop it. Another Glee castmate, Amber Riley, said in an interview that though she supported Ware and said non-white actors are often told they are “expendable,” she hesitated to call Michele racist. “I’m not going to say that Lea Michele is racist,” Riley said. “That’s not what I’m saying. That was the assumption because of what’s going on right now in the world and it happened toward a Black person.”

While starring in Funny Girl is a dream come true for Michele’s Glee character, Rachel Berry, and no doubt Michele herself, Ware’s comments certainly count as rain on her parade.

Photo via Getty/ Axelle/ Bauer-Griffin/ FilmMagic