Samantha Marie Ware isn't exactly accepting Lea Michele's apology.
The 33-year-old pregnant actress and singer took to Instagram on Wednesday morning to release a statement after being accused by Ware, her former Glee co-star, of making her "first television gig a living hell." Ware played Jane Hayward on 11 episodes of Glee in 2015, famously auditioning for the all-male a cappella group, The Warblers. As for Michele, she portrayed Rachel Berry on the Fox show for all six seasons.
Ware posted a message in response to a tweet Michele shared in the wake of George Floyd's death. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, died when a police officer pressed his knee into his neck for more than eight minutes.
"George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesMatter," Michele wrote.
Several days later, Ware responded to her former co-star's message, writing, "LMAO, 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**T IN MY WIG!' AMONG OTHER TRAUMATIC MICRO AGGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD..."
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
Without naming her co-star, Michele referenced Ware's post as well as the posts of other co-stars in her apology, writing, "When I tweeted the other day, it was meant to be a show of support for our friends and neighbors and communities of color during this really difficult time, but the responses I received to what I posted have made me also focus specifically on how my own behavior towards fellow cast members was perceived by them."
As for what was said about her behavior on set, Michele wrote, "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 not really the point, what matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people," she continued. "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, who announced she was expecting her first child with husband Zandy Reich in April, noted that preparing to become a mother has put this topic at the forefront of her mind.
"I know I need to keep working to better myself and take responsibility for my actions, so that I can be a real role model for my child and so I can pass along my lessons and mistakes, so that they can learn from me," she concluded her post on Instagram. "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."
Hours later, Ware spoke out again, commenting on Michele's use of "perceived" in her statement, and suggesting Michele donate to a GoFundMe for the family of James Scurlock, a 22-year-old black man who was shot and killed while protesting in Omaha. "Perceived? Purcieved? Purse? Open your purse??????????????" Ware wrote alongside a link to the fundraiser.
Glee star Heather Morris also spoke out against Michele's behavior on Wednesday. "Let me be very clear, Hate is a disease in America that we are trying to cure, so I would never wish for hate to be spread to anyone else. With that said, was she unpleasant to work with? Very much so; for Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she SHOULD be called out. And yet, it's also on us because to allow it go on for so long without speaking out is something else we're learning along with the rest of society," the actress, who played Brittany S. Pierce in Glee, wrote. "But, at the current moment it is implied that she is a racist and although I cannot comment on her beliefs, I think we're assuming, and you know what happens when we all assume..."
Shortly after Ware's initial tweet about Michele, Dabier Snell, who had a minor role in a 2014 episode of Glee, also retweeted Michele, writing, "GIRL YOU WOULDN'T LET ME SIT AT THE TABLE WITH THE OTHER CAST MEMBERS CAUSE 'I DIDN'T BELONG THERE' F**K YOU LEA."
Alex Newell, who played "Unique" Adams on the series from 2012 to 2015, retweeted Ware's clap-back and added a RuPaul's Drag Race GIF, reading, "Get her, Jade!"
Though she didn't directly reply to any tweets, Amber Riley, who portrayed main character Mercedes Jones throughout the Ryan Murphy series, posted several GIFs shortly after Ware's message was posted that fans thought could be in response.
In the first GIF, Riley is leaning forward smiling and holding up a finger in the air to speak at a panel. In a second post, she's looking around before taking a sip out of a mug.
Riley later shared a GIF of her saying, "Let's move on." She captioned the post, "#DefundThePolice #prosecutekillercops #BlackLivesMatter."
After Michele issued her apology, Gerard Canonico, her former Spring Awakening co-star on Broadway, responded with his own negative experience of working with the actress. "Seems to have been deleted so I'll try again. You were nothing but a nightmare to me and my understudy cast members," he wrote in a response that appears to have been deleted. "You made us feel like we didn't belong there. I tried for years to be nice to you to no avail. Maybe actually apologize instead of placing the blame on how others 'perceive' you. You'll probably just delete this though."