Samantha Ware (Sameya) and Lea Michele.
Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Harmony Gerber/Getty Images and Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Lea Michele not remembering that she threatened to poop in the wig of her Glee co-star Samantha Marie Ware is a certain generation’s equivalent of “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” As far as Michele’s memory is concerned, she did not have fecal ideas with that wig. When Michele issued a tipid apology in 2020, she probably hoped the rumor would be flushed out of public consciousness. Unfortunately for her, it bobbed back up to the surface following the news that she would take over the role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway — replacing Beanie Feldstein.
“Yes, I’m online today,” Ware tweeted around an hour after the casting announcement. “Yes, I see y’all. Yes, I care. Yes, im affected. Yes, I’m human. Yes, I’m Black. Yes, I was abused. Yes, my dreams were tainted. Yes, Broadway upholds whiteness. Yes, Hollywood does the same. Yes, silence is complicity. Yes, I’m loud. Yes, I’d do it again.”
Ware also retweeted a quote tweet of the casting announcement from @ucancallmesis that says, “This industry will reward bad behavior time and time again. its good to know that you all can only identify abusers when its a cis yt female getting abused. This industry cares not about black people and our experiences within it. Very sad.”
As a refresher, Ware’s claims against Michele went beyond the wig anecdote. The actress, who played Jane Hayward on the final season of Glee, told Variety in 2020 that Michele was mean to her from her first day on set and recounted one day in particular when the lead actress “publicly humiliated me in front of a crowd of extras and dancers” and threatened to “call Ryan Murphy in to come and fire me.” Ware said she didn’t report Michele, after multiple incidents, because she didn’t know that was an option. Commenting on a tweet claiming that Michele made “traumatic microaggressions” toward her, Ware told Variety, “Am I calling Lea a racist? No. Does Lea have racist tendencies? I think Lea suffers from a symptom of living in this world in an industry that is tailored to white people.” After Ware spoke up, Glee co-star Heather Morris, guest star Dabierand background actress Jeanté Godlock came forward with their own claims of Michele’s cruel behavior on set. Amber Riley and Alex Newell responses to the tweet with supportive GIFs. Our thoughts and prayers are with Fanny Brice understudy Julie Benko at this time.