Why Heather Morris Says ‘Glee’ Cast Was ‘Scared’ To Report Lea Michele For Bullying

Some people say Lea Michele is terrible to work with.

Lea Michele and Heather Morris DFree / Jaguar PS / Shutterstock

Heather Morris is addressing Lea Michele’s allegedly bad behavior on the set of "Glee," including bullying and racism she says all fellow cast members but Naya Rivera were too scared to report.

While appearing as a guest on the Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino podcast, Morris, 34, who played cheerleader Brittany on the hit show, was asked about the allegations made against Michele by Samantha Ware, who played Jane Hayward, and others in the cast last year.


Morris claimed many of them had been “victims of bullying” from Michele, adding that “many people were very scared" to report her.

Why did Heather Morris say Naya Rivera was the only person who was honest about Lea Michele's behavior?

Naya Rivera, who died in a tragic drowning accident last summer, was the first member of the “Glee” cast to speak out about Michele’s behavior on set.

Rivera and Michele’s “Glee” characters were sworn enemies, and it looks like things weren’t much different off-camera.

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Rivera wrote about Michele's annoying habit of holding up filming in her 2016 memoir “Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up” and recalled being unable to speak about her co-star without being accused of “b*tching.”

“Eventually it got to the point where she didn't say a word to me for all of Season 6," Rivera wrote.

Morris praised her friend and castmate for speaking up about Michele, saying “The only person who was honest about it was Naya.”

Who else accused Lea Michele of bullying and racism on the set of “Glee”?

Samantha Ware accused Lea Michele of racism.

Michele faced enormous backlash last year following public accusations cast members now say had been kept quiet for years.


Until recently, Rivera remained the only “Glee” star to be openly critical of Michele, and anyone could have been convinced that was just about petty drama between the two.

However, in 2020, Samantha Ware accused Michele of racist discrimination during her time on “Glee.”

When Michele tweeted about the murder of George Floyd and showed support to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Ware quickly replied, accusing Michele of committing “traumatic microaggressions.”

She accused Michele of telling people on set that she wanted to “sh—t in [Ware’s] wig” and generally making her time on the show a “living hell.”

These accusations ignited a flood of castmates coming forward to share their own experiences with their former co-star.


Heather Morris says Lea Michele bullied the “Glee” cast.

At the time, Morris tweeted in support of Ware, adding her own critique of Michele and calling her “unpleasant to work with.”

Now, Morris is doubling down on her statements, saying part of the reason she was so vague about her criticisms of Michele last year was that Michele was pregnant at the time.


She also opened up about why she hadn't come forward earlier.

"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.”

Amber Riley has criticized Michele.

Given that Ware is a woman of color, her claims definitely raised eyebrows and pushed fans of the show to question whether or not Michele had exhibited racist tendencies to other cast members.

Amber Riley, who played Mercedes on the show, was careful not to label Michele as racist, but did have some sharp criticism of her own.

“I’m not going to say that Lea Michele is racist. 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,” Riley said. "But at the same time, in my inbox there are a lot of Black actors and actresses telling me their stories and letting me know they have dealt with the same things on set, being terrorized by the white girls that are the leads of the show.”


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Lea Michele apologized to the “Glee” cast.

Not long after Ware’s accusations, Michele shared a note on Instagram seemingly addressing the controversy, although she didn’t name names.

She wrote that we need to “listen and learn” about the perspectives of people of color and stated that she was reflecting on her own behavior.


Michele denied judging “others by their background or skin” and said she didn’t remember making the statement Ware mentioned, but apologized for any hurt caused.

The following month, Michele deleted her Twitter account entirely.

Some “Glee” cast members have defended Michele.

Iqbal Theta, who played Principal Figgins, remembers her very differently than some of her other classmates.


"Lot of people r assuming that @LeaMichele mistreated me. Let me state it clearly that I was never mistreated by her," he tweeted. "And if some of the cast were treated badly then she has apologized for it which is wonderful."

Dean Geyer, who acted opposite Michele in 2012, came to her defense also, claiming, “Lea is still one of my favorite costars that I have had the pleasure of working with.”


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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.