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    Ryan Murphy Said He Considered Cancelling "Glee" After Cory Monteith's Death

    "None of us knew how to handle it, none of us knew how to pay tribute to him, none of us knew what to do with the business. But all of us did know that when that happened, our hearts all kind of broke. And we were all kind of done. The spirit and joy of it has left the building."

    This post mentions drug addiction. 

    Whether you're a former theater kid who's obsessed with show tunes or even just someone who kept up with pop culture during the early '10s, you knew about Glee.

    A Glee cast promo photo

    During the show's run, Cory Monteith, who starred as Finn Hudson, suddenly died of a heroin overdose back in 2013 — just weeks before filming was about to begin for Season 5.

    Cory smiles in a promo photo for Glee

    And in this week's episode of the And That's What You Really Missed podcast, Glee creator Ryan Murphy opened up about Cory's death for the first time publicly.

    Cory, Ryan, and Matthew Morrison pose together for a photograph at an event

    Speaking to Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale, who played Tina and Artie on the show, Ryan discussed the months leading up to Cory's death, his emotional response, and ultimately deciding on doing the tribute episode "The Quarterback."

    He said that he probably wouldn't have done the same thing now almost a decade later: "I thought a lot about that recently, and I would not have done that [episode] now. I felt like it was way too raw and way too soon."

    "When he passed, there was a decision that we had to make about, 'Do we cancel the show or do we go on?' It was a difficult decision. I had a conversation with Lea [Michele] because she was dating Cory. I said, 'Well, what do you want to do?' It was a big corporate decision. It was a decision after a couple of weeks of, 'Well, there's a crew here who's been with us from Day 1. There are many jobs on the line. The show was still doing well. Do you keep it going or do you cancel it?'"

    Cory and Lea pose together fat a red carpet event for photographers

    "There's no right answer. I didn't really know what to do. I remember after many conversations from a lot of people weighing in, we made the decision, 'Well, let's keep it going. And if you're gonna keep it going and keep these jobs, how do you address what happened?' Because the male lead on the show died. So, what do you do? Do you just pretend it didn't happen? You can't do that. Did it happen off camera? That didn't feel right to me. We decided to pay tribute to him. It was something that I remember even then thinking, 'Okay, well if we're gonna do these, people are gonna have a lot of feelings.'"

    Ryan also added that all of the cast members were given the choice to be in the episode, "Everyone had the choice, do you wanna sing, do you not wanna sing? Do you wanna be in it, do you not wanna be in it? If you don't wanna be in it, I will understand."

    Ryan also shared that he was there during the days leading up to Cory's death and tried to help him. He continued, "But this is what happened: Cory died and the months leading up to that were very fraught and emotional and difficult. I had no idea that he had a drug problem. I was naive. I didn't know."

    Cory, Lea, and Ryan taking a picture together

    "I helped him in his intervention. He seemed to have gotten through it in a good way. And then I went off to make The Normal Heart and was always talking to him every day. He came to the set of The Normal Heart to be with me. He was like my child. And I remember thinking, 'Oh my god, thank god he made it. Thank god he's gonna be okay.' He came to Fire Island and he spent time with me. I remember thinking, of all odds he's gonna be okay. And then two or three days later, he died. It was very unexpected."

    "It's an episode I was able to watch once and edit, and never looked at it again."

    He ended with, "If I could do it all over again, knowing now what I do know, I probably would've said, 'You know what? We're gonna take a year off and then we're gonna check in and see.' ... None of us knew what to do. None of us knew how to handle it, none of us knew how to pay tribute to him, none of us knew what to do with the business. But all of us did know that when that happened, our hearts all kind of broke. And we were all kind of done. The spirit and joy of it has left the building."

    Listen to the full episode of And That's What You Really Missed here.

    If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and find more resources here.