Samantha Ware Claims Lea Michele Threatened to Get Her Fired From ‘Glee’
In an interview published by Variety Thursday (June 11), Ware detailed her on-set experiences with the Scream Queens star, recalling the time Michele allegedly publicly humiliated her in front of a crowd of extras, crew members and dancers.
"I knew from day one when I attempted to introduce myself. There was nothing gradual about it. As soon as she decided that she didn’t like me, it was very evident," the actress told the outlet.
She further elaborated, "It was after I did my first performance, that’s when it started – the silent treatment, the stare-downs, the looks, the comments under her breath, the weird passive-aggressiveness. It all built up."
Ware opened up about a specific incident during which Michele allegedly reprimanded her and threatened to call Glee creator Ryan Murphy and have Ware fired.
"When you're shooting a scene, sometimes the camera is on you and sometimes it's not, but you still have to be in the scene. The camera wasn't on us, so it's not like we had to give a full-throttle performance, but apparently, I was goofing around when the camera wasn't on me, and she took that as me being disrespectful to her," she explained.
"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," Ware claimed.
Michele then allegedly said, "You need to come here right now."
Ware continued, "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.”
Though Ware never reported Michele's alleged abuse of power, she said everyone was well aware of her diva behavior on set but "just shrugged it off."
"Lea’s actions were nothing new, so I guess since it was such a common thing, my case didn’t seem like that big of a deal," Ware 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."
Still, Michele's alleged threats left Ware feeling worried about her job.
"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," she told Variety.
Ware went on to say that when she tried to speak up for herself, Michele allegedly told her to "shut her mouth" and that "she didn't deserve to have that job."
"She talked about how she has reign," Ware explained. "And here's the thing: I completely understood that, and I was ready to be like, 'This is your show. I'm not here to be disrespectful.' But at that point, we were already past the respect and she was just abusing her power."
Ware's allegations come a few weeks after she called Michele out for making her first television gig "a living hell." Her accusation led other Glee actors, including Amber Riley, Alex Newell, Dabier Snell and Heather Morris, to share their own negative experiences working with the actress.
Michele addressed her co-stars' claims in a lengthy statement posted to Instagram, writing, "I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused."