While rumours of Michele's 'mean girl' behaviour have followed the star since her success on Glee, it's been the most recent racism controversy that's sparked some serious self-analysis. “She’s had a real wake-up call,” a friend of Michele explained. “It’s never easy to hear people speak about you this way. It’s a total shock.” We're pretty sure the Glee actress Samantha Ware found Michele threatening to "sh*t in her wig," pretty shocking too...
Ware was one of a number of Michele's former costars who said that she deliberately ignored people, called extras on the Glee set "cockroaches" and carried out "traumatic microaggressions" that made her question a career in Hollywood.
Michele has since issued an apology, which many people felt was a little backhanded. In an Instagram post, the actress said that the responses to her Black Lives Matter tweet "made me focus specifically on how my own behaviour towards fellow cast members was perceived by them." FYI, never a good look to frame your poor actions, that multiple people back up as fact, as just someone else "perceiving" things in a certain way. Michele also claims that she doesn't remember "making this specific statement" and that she's never judged anyone for their race.
She then went on to acknowledge her privilege and apologise, "Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me being unnecessarily difficult, I apologise for my behaviour and any pain which I have caused." Please note, she again throws the fault onto her co-stars, implying that because she benefits from white privileged they "perceived" that she was treating them poorly.
Many, many commentators have noted this. One included the drag queen and actor William (@william), who commented, ""PERCEIVED?" Girl- you shoulda hired a writer but lord knows nobody wants to work with you now and serves you right after being so horrible to me and so many others."
Since this all blew up, a source close to Michele says she's been quite upset. "She’s emotional and I know there have been tears. It’s a lot of stress. Sets are volatile places, but there’s no excuses for her behaviour and she knows that."
“Lea was a bitch to a lot of people who are now taking the opportunity to come forward,” said another industry source. “She may not be the nicest person, but she’s not racist, sexist or transphobic. I would say she has behavioural issues that she’s dealing with."
“She is listening, she hears what everyone says and wants to apologize. This is her past and she wants to handle things responsibly.”
Another source said that as well as her public apology, Michele is reaching out to her former colleagues privately. "This experience has made her reevaluate her behaviour in the past,” the source told Us Weekly. “This has been a serious learning lesson and she is committed to making these adjustments as a complete life change for the future. She is listening to those who have come forward and has been reaching out to initiate open and honest conversations."