Lea Michele has issued an apology for her past behavior on the set of Glee after her former costar Samantha Marie Ware accused Michele of “tormenting” her on the set of the musical TV show.
The 33-year-old actress said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE that while she does not remember making those specific remarks that Ware claims she said she made, that is “not really the point.”
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“What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people,” Michele said, adding the importance of listening and learning from those who she might have hurt in the past.
“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 that they face,” she continued.
“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,” Michele added, referring to her May 29 tweet in support of George Flloyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The actress continued: “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.”
“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 not really the point,” she said. “What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people.”
“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 continued. “We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.”
“I am a couple of months from becoming a mother and 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. 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 concluded.
Ware, who portrayed Jane Hayward on Glee for 11 episodes in 2015 starring opposite Michele, responded to the actress’s tweet about Floyd on Monday, slamming her for making her time on set “a living hell.”
“LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISION GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET,” Ware tweeted at the time.
“I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD ‘S— IN MY WIG!’ AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD…” Ware added.
After Ware’s allegations, meal kit company HelloFresh announced that they would be ending their partnership with Michele via a statement. “HelloFresh does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind,” the company said in a statement on Twitter on Tuesday, June 2. “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.”