The actress took to Instagram on Wednesday after her former co-star Samantha Ware accused Lea of making her experience on Glee a “living hell.” After the accusations were made, Hello Fresh announced that they ended their partnership with Lea.
“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,” Lea wrote in her message on social media Wednesday.
Lea went on to reference her tweet from a few days ago, in which she said George Floyd‘s death at the hands of the Minneapolis police was “not an isolated incident” and supported the Black Lives Matter movement.
In her statement on Wednesday, Lea wrote, “When I tweeted the other day, it was meant to be a show of support for our friends and neighbors and communities of color during this really difficult time, but the responses I received to what I posted have made me also focus specifically on how my own behavior 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 color of their skin, that’s not really the point,” Lea’s message 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 behavior and for any pain which I have caused,” Lea went on to tell her Instagram followers. “We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.”
Lea, who is currently pregnant with her first child, also looked ahead to motherhood and how she can learn from this experience.
“I am a couple of months from becoming a mother and 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,” Lea shared. “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.”
Earlier this week, Samantha, who played the role of Jane Hayward on Glee in 2015, responded to Lea’s tweet about George Floyd.
“LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON [sic] GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET,” Samantha wrote. “I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD ‘S–T IN MY WIG!’ AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD…”
After seeing Samantha’s tweet, a number of Lea’s former Glee co-stars also weighed in on social media.
Dabier, who appeared in a 2014 episode of the musical series, tweeted, “GIRL YOU WOULDNT LET ME SIT AT THE TABLE WITH THE OTHER CAST MEMBERS CAUSE ‘I DIDNT BELONG THERE’ F–K YOU LEA.”
Glee star Amber Riley also shared a GIF of herself drinking tea in a post on Twitter.
Additionally, Spring Awakening actor Gerard Canonico has shared his thoughts on Lea’s behavior in the comments of her apology post.
“Seems to have been deleted. So I’ll try again,” Gerard wrote. “You were nothing but a nightmare to me and fellow understudy cast members. You made us feel like we didn’t belong there.”
“I tried for years to be nice to you to no avail,” the comment continued. “Maybe actually apologize instead of placing the blame on how others ‘perceive’ you. You’ll probably just delete this though.”
Lea has not responded to Gerard’s comment.