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Updated on Jun 7, 2020. Posted on Jun 3, 2020

Lea Michele Responded After Being Accused Of "Bullying" Her Former "Glee" Costars And Then Losing A Major Endorsement Deal

"While I don’t remember ever making this specific statement and I have never judged others by their background or colour of their skin, that’s really not the point."

Lea Michele has responded after her former Glee costar Samantha Ware accused her of "traumatic microagressions" that made her question her career.

Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images

Samantha, who appeared in Season 6 of Glee, made the initial allegations in response to a tweet from Lea where she paid tribute to George Floyd and expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images

Samantha claimed in a tweet of her own that Lea’s behaviour on the show had made her experience a "living hell".

LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD “SHIT IN MY WIG!” AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD... https://t.co/RkcaMBmtDA

Shortly afterwards, their costar Alex Newell tweeted in support of Samantha — first with this GIF.

And Alex went on to show her support for Samantha in a follow-up tweet that stated her experience on Glee was "traumatic".

I’m gonna say this one time... when my friends goes through something traumatic I also go through it... that’s what friendship is... and if you can’t understand that then you’re part of the problem... and that’s on PERIODT! And I mean that for both sides of this coin!

Black Lightning's Dabier also claimed to have had a similar experience on the set of Glee in 2014.

GIRL YOU WOULDNT LET ME SIT AT THE TABLE WITH THE OTHER CAST MEMBERS CAUSE “I DIDNT BELONG THERE” FUCK YOU LEA https://t.co/s4NoLdtqRs

And while Amber Riley didn't respond directly to Samantha's tweet, she did post a GIF of herself.

Well, Lea has now shared a statement in response to the claims, apologising for "any pain" her behaviour has caused.

"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 they face," Lea began her statement.

She added that while her original tweet had been intended as a "show of support" for "friends and neighbors and communities of color during this really difficult time", the responses had forced her to focus on how her past behaviour may have been perceived by former cast members.

Fox

In reference to Samantha's tweet, Lea wrote: "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 really not the point. What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people."

Fox

She went on: "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.

And Lea concluded by saying she was using the experience as an opportunity to "better" herself ahead of the birth of her first child.

"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," she signed off.

Lea's statement came just hours after losing a major endorsement deal with HelloFresh in the wake of the allegations against her.

"@HelloFresh should probably cut ties with @LeaMichele," wrote one person on Twitter. "It's only a matter of time before people stop buying your products because you support her."

@HelloFresh should probably cut ties with @LeaMichele ...it’s only a matter of time before people stop buying your products bc you support her #hellofresh #LeaMicheleIsOverParty

Less than 10 minutes later, the brand responded with a tweet stating that it was "disheartened and disappointed" over the claims and had made the decision to immediately "end [its] partnership" with Lea.

@d33leriyus @LeaMichele HelloFresh does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind. We are disheartened and disappointed to learn of the recent claims concerning Lea Michele. We take this very seriously, and have ended our partnership with Lea Michele, effective immediately.

A spokesperson for the brand has since independently confirmed the termination of Lea's endorsement.

Ellie Woodward is Celebrity and Entertainment Editor for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

Contact Ellie Woodward at ellie.woodward@buzzfeed.com.

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