Lea Michele is facing more criticism for her on-set behaviour during her time on Glee with a former extra on the show revealing the actress once "burped" in her face.
Lea has faced a series of accusations of bad behaviour on set since former co-star Samantha Ware claimed the actress targeted her on set when they worked together, others who worked with the Michele have come forward with claims the actress called them ‘cockroaches’, alienated them, humiliated them in front of others and generally treated minor and extra actors terribly.
Samantha's post came after Lea showed support for the Black Lives Matter movement only for former Black co-stars to call her out for her terrible treatment of them day to day.
Samantha claims the star threatened to ‘sh*t in her wig’.
Lea has since addressed the accusations, but it seemed to only make the matter worse, sparking further accusations of bullying.
Now, Imia Edwards, a Black actress who appeared in season six has accused Lea of making the extras feel like they were "nothing".
Speaking with The Sun, Imia said, "I’ve never really seen anyone treat extras like that, to that level of, ‘Ugh, don’t look at me, don’t make eye contact, ugh cockroaches, there they are.'"
"I think I was even on a different show and someone was like, ‘Oh, you know Lea’s a b**ch, right? She calls the extras ‘cockroaches’."
Imia appeared in a scene with Lea where she was auditioning in New York, in the scene she had to storm out of a room, past the extras.
"Take after take she had to walk by me in a huff, but in between certain things would just happen," Imia said.
"She walked by me and burped in my face, this loud burp, directly almost face-to-face, it wasn’t even like, ‘Oh she wouldn't have known.’ She knew she burped in my face.
"Two other people saw it and an operator said, ‘Oh my God, I’m so sorry she did that.’ I was just like, ‘Yeah, whatever.’ You’re on set trying to be professional, you’re not trying to make a huge deal about things.
"(After) the second or third take she walked by me and stepped on my foot really hard. You know when you bump into someone you can feel it, again nothing, no reaction, like I wasn’t there.
"Another extra rolled her eyes like, ‘Wow, that’s so like her to not acknowledge.’ It made me feel like I was nothing, even if she just said in a half-a**ed kind of way like, ‘Oh, I’m sorry,’ but no."
While Imia isn't necessarily sure if Lea's on-set actions were racist, she said, "If she is racist then she should be called out."
"She did treat me like I was nothing, like I wasn’t even worth making eye contact with, so maybe. These things can offend and hurt us, and sometimes they don’t know what they’re saying or maybe they think they can get away with it – ‘Oh it’s just a Black person, they don’t really care, they’re less than.'"
Imia is not the only extra to say Lea called background cast "cockroaches", Marcus S. Daniel commented on social media, "You were abusive, rude condescending and at many times downright cruel."
"Everyone who has worked with you carries those memories with them... this isn't an isolated incident.
"It's YEARS of crap you've pulled that people are bringing up. You used to call extras on Glee 'cockroaches' and got people fired on a whim. You have much work to do."
Jeanté Godlock also shared a similar story, "Did somebody say cockroaches? because that's what she used to refer to the background as on the set of glee. but we grow up and we don't stay background forever sooooo…"
did somebody say cockroaches? because that’s what she used to refer to the background as on the set of glee. but we grow up and we don’t stay background forever sooooo...— Jeanté Godlock (@jeantegodlock) June 2, 2020
Extra Chase Edmondson shared his experience working with Lea in the comments of her apology on Instagram.
The actor wrote, "I did background on Glee for seasons three and four. My strongest memory of you was storming out of the Glee classroom set yelling, 'Does anyone have gum?'
"I was standing about ten feet away from you and with gum already in hand. When I said 'I do', offering it to you, you just looked at me and said 'ew' before walking off to crafty on the other stage. Hopefully you've grown as a person and treat people better on sets."
Lea’s apology falls flat
On Wednesday morning, Michele shared a three-page statement on Instagram addressing Samantha Ware's disturbing claim.
She did not mention Ware by name in the post, nor did she address the fact that her deal with HelloFresh was terminated over Ware’s allegation.
The response has since been criticised by Samantha Ware for using the word ‘perceived’ rather than admitting to wrongdoing.
Samantha also indicated a tangible show of remorse, like a donation to the Black Lives Matter funds, may be more appropriate than a lengthy statement.
“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," Michele wrote.
“When I tweeted the other day, it was meant to be a show of support for our friends and neighbours and communities of [colour] during this really difficult time," referring to her tweet, posted on May 29, addressing the death of George Floyd and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
She continued, “But the responses I received to what I posted have made me also focus specifically on how my own [behaviour] 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 [colour] of their skin, that’s not really the point," Michele continued.
"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 [behaviour] and for any pain which I have caused. 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,” she continued. “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."
Lea is currently expecting her first child with Zandy Reich.
Many fans have revealed their disappointment in the star for deleting comments on the post. One user wrote, "Since you deleted my last comment, let me refresh your memory. Your lame excuses of 'I don’t remember' or blaming others’ 'perception' do not equal a sincere apology. You’ve always been a demanding, privileged, entitled, spoiled brat. Get over yourself. No one will want to work with you again."
Another added, "Hmmmm. My first comment seems to have disappeared so I’ll repeat myself. I don’t “perceive” this as a genuine apology. Try again."
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