‘Glee’ Star Samantha Ware Speaks Out After Lea Michele’s ‘Funny Girl’ Casting

Within an hour of Michele being cast in the Broadway play, her former co-star tweeted that she "was abused" and her "dreams were tainted" — reminding fans of her past allegations against the actor.
Samantha Marie Ware's tweet reminded fans of her accusations in 2020 that Lea Michele was abusive on set.
Samantha Marie Ware's tweet reminded fans of her accusations in 2020 that Lea Michele was abusive on set.
Harmony Gerber via Getty Images

Lea Michele called her “Funny Girl” casting on Broadway a “dream come true,” but not everyone agrees.

When Beanie Feldstein announced on Instagram July 10 that she was leaving the play July 31, whispers about her potential replacement echoed across social media. Michele’s casting was made official on Monday.

About an hour after the announcement, Michele’s former “Glee” co-star Samantha Marie Ware shared a reaction on Twitter, albeit without referencing the actor by name.

The “All Rise” star, who previously alleged abuse by Michele on the “Glee” set, wrote that “Broadway upholds whiteness.”

“Yes, I’m online today,” wrote Ware. “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.”

Feldstein was set to leave the revival in September, but cited creative differences in her choice to bow out early, according to Us Weekly. While Julie Benko will fill the role throughout August, Michele has officially been cast as Feldstein’s permanent replacement starting in September.

“A dream come true is an understatement,” Michele captioned her announcement post on Instagram. “I’m so incredibly honored to join this amazing cast and production and return to the stage playing Fanny Brice on Broadway. See you September 6th.”

Michele’s publicist declined to comment on Ware’s tweets.

In June 2020, Ware said that Michele treated her terribly during their time on “Glee,” including by suggesting she wanted to defecate in Ware’s wig.

“LMAO remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?!” Ware wrote at the time in a since-deleted tweet, according to BuzzFeed. “Cause I’ll never forget. I believe you told everyone if [you] had the opportunity you would ‘shit in my wig!’ Amongst other traumatic micro aggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood...”

Ware told Variety at the time that Michele even threatened to contact “Glee” showrunner Ryan Murphy and have her fired.

Ware’s initial claims led other “Glee” actors including Heather Morris and Jeanté Godlock to come forward and agree that Michele acted unprofessionally on set.

Ware’s accusations led the company HelloFresh to end its partnership with Michele.

Michele publicly apologized in an Instagram statement at the time. She wrote that she “clearly acted in ways which hurt other people” and apologized “for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused.”

In addition to her own tweet on Monday, Ware also retweeted a quote tweet of Michele’s casting announcement from user @ucancallmesis.

“this industry will reward bad behavior time and time again,” it read. “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 it stands, Michele remains slated to take the “Funny Girl” stage later this year.

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