Heather Morris Says Lea Michele's Alleged Behavior Was 'Elephant In the Room' on Glee Set

“The only person who was honest about it was Naya [Rivera],” says Morris, who also wished Lea “the best of luck.”

“Glee” star Heather Morris opened up about Lea Michele’s alleged behavior on the set of the series and revealed why she didn’t speak out about it at the time in a new interview.

The actress appeared on Danny Pellegrino’s Everything Iconic podcast this week, where she was asked about her initial reaction to the 2020 controversy surrounding Michele. Last year, costar Samantha Ware said Lea made her life “a living hell,” tweeting, “I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s— in my wig!’ amongst [sic] traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood.”

That one tweet was followed up with damaging accounts from some of Michele’s other costars, before the actress eventually apologized for how her behavior was “perceived.” At the time, Morris tweeted, “was she unpleasant to work with? Very much so; for Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she SHOULD be called out” — and added that, “it’s also on us because to allow it to go on for so long without speaking out is something else we’re learning along with the rest of society.”

Telling Morris she could “just tell me to f— off if it’s inappropriate” to ask, Pellegrino wondered if she could expand a bit on what she meant with that statement. She didn’t evade the question.

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“I remember getting so much shade because people were like, ‘This is so f—ing cryptic,’ like, ‘Why don’t you just go and say it?’ I’m like, ‘Guys, she’s pregnant, and all this stuff is going around, and it’s true,'” she explained. “And I don’t know if maybe we were victims of bullying and that’s a typical victim thing to do, is to blame yourself. But it also is very true, and the only person who was honest about it was Naya [Rivera]. And it was something that was very hush-hush on set.”

“Now you see all these things coming out with these bigger names who were very disrespectful, mistreated a lot of people and people allowed it to happen,” she continued. “It’s like, we absolutely could have stepped up and gone to the Fox execs and said how we felt about the situation, and nobody really did.”

She said we’re now in a “culture where it’s acceptable” to speak out, whereas, at the time, “I think many people were very scared.” Morris added, “I know, genuinely, I didn’t feel like it was my place. And I don’t know why, because I was a cast member just like everybody else, and we all deserve to feel comfortable on a set.”

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She was then asked whether there was a specific instance with Michele to which she was referring or whether her alleged behavior was “always just sort of an elephant in the room.”

“I think it was the elephant in the room, you know like, we all got close with Lea at certain points, and then we all weren’t as close with her,” she continued. “And so there’s that human element to it to understanding who this person is, growing with that person, seeing her try to become better. And, you know, taking care of herself after Corey [Monteith] passed. You know, it was just the elephant in the room.”

Morris went on to say that she hasn’t heard from Michele herself, but added she “always [wishes] her the best of luck and I know she has that little one at home, just taking care of her.”

TooFab has reached out to Michele’s rep for comment.

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When the initial controversy broke, Lea issued a statement to Instagram in a post in which she never referred to Ware by name. She said she did not remember the incident her costar brought up. Adding she has “never judged others by their background or color of their skin,” Lea also said she “[apologized] for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused.”

“What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people,” she wrote. “We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on m own shortcomings.”

“I am a couple of months from becoming a mother and I know I need to keep working to better myself and take responsibility for my actions, so that I can be a real role model for my child and so I can pass along my lessons and mistakes, so that they can learn from me,” she concluded. “I listened to these criticisms and I am learning and while I am very sorry, I will be better in the future from this experience.”

Michele gave birth to her first child, a son named Ever, in August 2020. Just this week, she shared photos of her baby and former costars Jonathan Groff and Darren Criss.

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