When Lea Michele showed her support for Black Lives Matter, one of her former “Glee” costars, Samantha Ware, was quick to let people know that homegirl wasn’t really for the people. She had been less than kind to more than a few Black people who worked alongside her.
As several Black castmembers come forward, Amber Riley confirmed the validity of their stories with a series of very telling gifs.
But she didn’t say anything concrete about her own experiences with Michele.
But earlier this week, Riley sat down with media maven Danielle Young for her Instagram Live series, “Real Quick,” and she opened up more specifically about her experiences with Lea…for what she said is the first and last time.
She told Young that while she wouldn’t go so far as to say that Lea Michele is a racist, she did say that the set of “Glee” was “not the most comfortable environment.”
She also shared that she was extremely proud of Ware for speaking up.
“I’m very proud of her for standing up for herself’. I am proud of her not being fearful for speaking her truth…[Her] feeling was, ‘I am not going to allow you to jump on what is happening now when you didn’t treat me right.”
Riley said that Ware’s tweet also encouraged other Black actors to speak up about their experiences on various sets.
“There were a lot of black actors and actresses that were in my inbox telling me their stories and were letting me know that they have dealt with the same things, being on set and terrorized by the white girls that are the leads of their show. We all know that a person of color and a black person is always the sidekick, it’s always number 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 on the call sheet. Very rarely are they number one if it’s not an all-black cast.”
Like the story, we wrote about actress Vanessa Morgan.
Riley said White women feel empowered to behave like this because they are essentially “unfireable.”
“The stories I’m reading about how white women are using their privilege and the fact that they are not fireable, something that I was told once on set after having my own complaint,” said Riley. “They know that they are not fireable and they use that privilege to terrorize their counterparts. These networks don’t have to give a f**k. We were even told, we were expendable. The colored girls, the Black girls, are expendable. I’m talking about the culture of Hollywood right now and how they treat Black characters, Black men, Black women. I’m talking about the culture.”
Riley said before recently, she hadn’t spoken to Michele in two years. But after her comments and Ware sharing her experience, Michele reached out to Riley.
“I wish Lea Michele well, I hope that she has an amazing pregnancy, I hope that she has grown. That [statement] she put out, I didn’t read it because I told y’all I don’t give a s**t about it…. She reached out to me, I responded to her and that’s where it ends for me. I ain’t talk to that girl in two years. I have no hatred or ill will on that end.”
You can watch Riley’s full interview in the video below.