Samantha Ware has hit out at Lea Michele’s casting in ‘Funny Girl’.
The 30-year-old actress spoke out in 2020 to accuse the ‘Glee’ actress of making her life a “living hell” when she was on the musical TV series, sparking a number of others to come forward about their alleged mistreatment at the hands of Lea, and she’s been left unimpressed that her behaviour seemingly had few consequences because the former ‘Spring Awakening’ star has landed the lead role in the Broadway show.
Following the news of Lea taking over from Beanie Feldstein as Fanny Brice, Samantha tweeted: “Yes, I’m online today. Yes, I see y’all. Yes, I care. Yes, I’m 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.”
Samantha first spoke out two years ago after Lea had tweeted to express her support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
She replied: “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 “‘S**T IN MY WIG!’ AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD… (sic).”
Following the tweet, Lea – who starred as Rachel Berry on the hit show – apologised to Samantha, admitting that while she doesn’t specifically remember making hurtful remarks towards her, it is “not really the point”.
She said in a statement: “What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people.
“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.”
The actress later claimed her life had been made a “living hell” by Lea, who threatened to contact showrunner Ryan Murphy and have her fired after she was “goofing around” away from the camera, which her co-star claimed was “disrespectful” to her.
She added: “She waited until the scene was over and she stopped in the middle of the stage and did a ‘come here’ gesture, like how a mother does to their child.
“I said ‘no’, and that’s when she decided to threaten my job, and said she would call Ryan Murphy in to come and fire me.
“It’s scary. For the full week, I was thinking I’m probably going to get an email and I might not be able to do the last three episodes, or I might not be able to sing another song.”
Samantha – who starred as Jane Hayward in the musical comedy-drama series – also claimed Lea used to give her “silent treatment” and make “comments under breath” about her on set but no one ever intervened.
She said: “I remember the first day I actually spoke up and unfortunately no one did anything. They just shrugged it off, like ‘That’s her.’ No one was stopping these things, which is an issue because the environment was helping perpetuate this abuse.”