We at The A.V. Club love a good apology and will happily report one as soon as we see one. Instead, we’re here to share that Lea Michele has broken her silence (exclusively with People) and responded to fellow Glee alum Samantha Marie Ware’s comments regarding past on-set behavior.
In case you (very understandably) missed it: After Michele tweeted a statement ostensibly in support of Black Lives Matter and the continued protests against police brutality, Ware responded with claims that Michele mistreated her on set, audibly wished to “shit in [Ware’s] wig,” and engaged in other microaggressions that made Ware’s first major job in television “a living hell.” Following Ware’s comments, HelloFresh dropped its partnership with Michele, citing its refusal to “condone racism [and] discrimination of any kind.”
After that major development, Michele finally decided to issue a lengthy statement—again, exclusively to People before reposting it on Instagram a little later—that sounds somewhat apologetic for nondescript behaviors that she may or may not have inflicted on unnamed co-stars:
“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. When I tweeted the other day, it was meant to be a show of support for our friends and neighbors and communities of color during this really difficult time, but the responses I received to what I posted have made me also focus specifically on how my own behavior towards fellow cast members was perceived by them.
“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. Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused. We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my 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. 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.”
People also notes that, according to an unnamed source, Michele has “reached out to a few of her former cast members and spoke to a couple of them,” though it does not clarify whether one of those former cast members was Ware. Many have criticized the vagueness of Michele’s statement and the always counter-intuitive “I’m sorry if you interpreted my terrible behavior as terrible” tone that underscores the message.
As of now, Ware has not responded to the apology-adjacent statement. And why would she? Michele fails to mention her (or anyone else), even though her comments and residual pain directly sparked the backlash. As we mentioned, we love a good apology—one that directly addresses both the bad behavior and the person that behavior impacted, leaves behind needless defenses, and lays out even a tentative plan for future, changed behavior. Instead, we have this.
In the very unrelated, but still exceedingly relevant words of one Lil Nas X: