Glee Star Amber Riley Speaks Out About Lea Michele Criticism

June 4, 2020

Former Glee star Amber Riley has responded to the controversy that has cropped up in recent days regarding her former cast mate Lea Michele. Ryan Murphy’s popular musical dramedy about a high school glee club ran on Fox for six seasons and amassed a sizable fan following. While Glee was a breakout hit from the start, its quality fluctuated throughout its run, and in recent years, its legacy has been impacted by stories of behind the scenes drama from its stars. Riley played Mercedes Jones for all six seasons of Glee, and several of her musical performances were considered among highlights for the show.

Glee found itself back in the news two days ago after cast member Samantha Marie Ware, who played Jane Hayward during the show’s final season, called out Michele on social media for her bullying behavior on set. Michele (Glee’s Rachel Berry) had posted a message supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in response to George Floyd’s death while in police custody, and Ware responded to the message by accusing Michele of making her life “A LIVING HELL [sic]” while on set. Various other Glee cast members also chimed in and supported Ware, and Michele has since issued an apology.

Related: Glee Star Already Lobbying To Play A Muse In Live-Action Hercules Movie

Riley was one of those who seemingly took Ware’s side by posting GIF of her sipping tea, though she didn’t say anything further until she appeared on an Instagram Live with Danielle Young. “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. I’m not going to say that she’s racist.” She then went on to add, “But at the same time, in my inbox there are a lot of black actors and actresses telling me their stories and were letting me know they have dealt with the same things being on set, being terrorized by the white girls that are the leads of the show.”

Finally, Riley concluded that in the end, she doesn’t hold any ill will towards Michele. While she didn’t read Michele’s statement, Riley said Michele briefly reached out to her. “I wish Lea Michele well, I hope that she has an amazing pregnancy, I hope that she has grown,” Riley stated. “I responded to her and that’s where it ends for me. I ain’t talk to that girl in two years.” Riley kept the conversation focused on the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests that have sprung up following Floyd’s death. This past week and a half has been one of intense emotion as people fight for justice for Floyd, as well as for other black men and women who have been unjustly killed.

Riley’s response to the Michele controversy is a fair one; she acknowledged the hurt that has occurred, hoped Michele has learned, and kept the focus on the real issue at hand. Riley is hardly the only celebrity to speak up in recent days, as just yesterday saw Star Wars actor John Boyega give a passionate speech at a Black Lives Matter protest. The debate over Michele’s actions is just one of many conversations regarding race that have taken place over the past few days, and it most certainly won’t be the last. In Riley’s case, however, it sounds like the Glee star is ready to move on.

More: Riverdale Star Vanessa Morgan Slams Show For How It Handles Black Characters

Source: Amber Riley via Danielle Young’s Instagram Live

Former Glee star Amber Riley has responded to the controversy that has cropped up in recent days regarding her former cast mate Lea Michele.TV News

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