Being a Hollywood star isn’t easy. Certainly there are plenty of perks like all the money and adoring fans, but there’s a negative side of the coin too. For as many people that love you, there are even more who hate you for no reason. Leaving the house? Not without paparazzi.
Some celebrities handle their fame with grace. They even handle the hardships well. Other celebrities are known for their diva behavior. They treat people poorly with impunity for no other reason than the fact that they feel more important than other people’s feelings. These types of celebrities give them all a bad name.
Stories of toxic celebrities often stay hidden because people fear retaliation. Often the people who know these stories are people who work in the industry. That is, until it is one of the celebrity’s co stars who speak out, like Lea Michele’s co-star, Samantha Marie Ware.
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement sweeping the country after George Floyd’s murder, more black voices are being amplified to speak out against injustice. One such case is Samantha Marie Ware of Glee fame. She has come out to reveal that her co-star, Lea Michele, had created a toxic work environment. It all started after Lea Michele posted a social media post that said, “"George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end.” This did not sit well with Samantha Marie Ware.
Ware responded by tweeting about the way Lea Michele made her feel and the things she said while working on Glee together. Ware described it as a living hell. "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.”
This was the wrong time for Lea Michele’s bad behavior to come up. Her partnership with HelloFresh was terminated in light of these allegations. Their statement said, "HelloFresh does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind. We are disheartened and disappointed to learn of the recent claims concerning Lea Michele," the company announced on social media.
Lea Michele tried to apologize on Instagram. Her post stated, "What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people. 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."
This situation has roused others to share their Lea Michele horror stories, and according to Hollywood insiders, this wasn’t an isolated event. Michele appears to be intent on fixing her behavior according to her social media post. Her apology however, uses one common word that delegitimize it. The word “perceived.” "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.” Michele’s comments weren’t perceived as insensitive or inappropriate. They were insensitive and inappropriate.
This is a heated issue due to the hypocrisy of celebrities, influencers, and corporations who say one thing but do another. As they say on Twitter, “we have the receipts.”