Glee's Samantha Ware Explains Why She Called Out Lea Michele
"I actually spoke up and unfortunately no one did anything."
A week after Samantha Ware tweeted about the treatment that she had to endure on the set of Glee at the hand of co-star Lea Michele, Ware spoke to Variety about why she decided to come forward. In the interview, Ware said that she knew that things wouldn't be cordial the very first day she came to work and encountered microaggressions and a cast that brushed off her concerns.
"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," Ware said. "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 described the cast's complicity, saying that Michele's behavior was "nothing new," so when she did bring it to someone's attention, nobody paid attention. She watched as everyone brushed it off and allowed the tension to perpetuate. Variety adds that Ware never took her concerns to anyone at the network or the studio.
"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 continued. "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."
Ware added that she didn't know that filing a complaint was an option. Michele reportedly threatened Ware's job in front of dancers, extras, and the show's cast, but Ware didn't know what her options were. Because everyone seemed to treat Michele's behavior like it was no big deal, Ware was unaware that she could have filed a complaint.
"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," Ware said of the incident. "When I tried to speak up for myself, she told me to shut my mouth. She said I don't deserve to have that job. She talked about how she has reign. 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."