Glee stars Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale have revealed that some of their Glee castmates ‘hated’ the show — and while they may not have felt that strongly themselves, they did find some of filming ‘really rough’ and have labeled the series ‘tone deaf.’
Jenna, 34, and Kevin, 32, played Tina and Artie on the popular musical show from 2009 to 2015, but they weren’t always happy with the plot lines and the songs they had to perform.
While Kevin admitted that he ‘broke’ when he had to sing The Fox by Ylvis in season five, Jenna — who is Korean-American — appeared even more put-off that she was front and center for a performance of Psy’s Gangnam Style
TV stras: Jenna Ushkowitz, 34, and Kevin McHale, 32, played Tina and Artie on the popular musical show from 2009 to 2015
Hated: A 2020 podcast interview with the stars is going viral on TikTok. The pair both laugh when asked when they started hating Glee
Not all fans: Kevin says he never ‘hated’ the show but ‘some people did’
Not fun: He admitted that he ‘broke’ when he had to sing ‘What Does the Fox Say’
During the video clip, which has earned millions of views on TikTok, co-host Amy Ordman asked when Jenna and Kevin started hating Glee.
The stars both laughed at the question, clearly taking no offense.
‘I never hated it,’ Kevin said, before admitting, ‘Some people did. I was the last one to break, I will say that, out of the cast. I was the last one to lose it.’
He added that ‘What Does the Fox Say was the boiling point’ for him, referring to the 2013 novelty song by Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis.
‘Season five was really rough for us,’ Jenna chimed in.
Racist? When Amy noted that they performed K-pop star Psy’s Gangnam Style, Jenna — who sang it — pulled her mouth into a thin line, clearly not happy that she was tasked with that song
Tone deaf: After Amy replied that the show was ‘pretty tone deaf,’ Jenna said: ‘Yeah, absolutely’
When Amy noted that they also performed K-pop star Psy’s Gangnam Style, Jenna — who sang it — pulled her mouth into a thin line, clearly not happy that she was tasked with that song.
After Amy replied that the show was ‘pretty tone deaf,’ Jenna said: ‘Yeah, absolutely.’
‘If you watch it now you will be shocked,’ Kevin said.
Podcast host Amy then noted that she had just watched a compilation of Mr. Schue, the teacher played by Matthew Morrison, being ‘creepy for four minutes straight.’
Glee fans on TikTok have recently been sharing lots of old clips of Mr. Schue moaning, grinding, and being otherwise overtly sexual on the show.
‘It’s creepy!’ said Jenna.
‘Someone tweeted it saying, “Should he go to jail?” added Kevin
High school Kevin (left) and Jenna (right) pictured as their Glee characters
Yikes! They also discussed how ‘creepy’ Matthew Morrison’s character Mr. Schue was
This is hardly the first time that Glee has been accused of being tone deaf, though the stars of the series have not historically been the ones to say so.
In 2019, BuzzFeed created a whole list of ‘problematic’ moments.
But much of the negative coverage of Glee has also been about star Lea Michele’s behavior on set.
Last summer, her co-star Samantha Ware responded to Lea’s post regarding the death of George Floyd.
She wrote: ‘Remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?!… ‘Cause I’ll never forget… I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would “s*** in my wig!” amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood.’
Under fire: But much of the negative coverage of Glee has also been about star Lea Michele’s behavior on set
Remember me? Last summer, her co-star Samantha Ware responded to Lea’s post regarding the death of George Floyd
When the comment made headlines, other Glee cast members chimed in with their own experiences.
‘Was she unpleasant to work with? Very much so; for Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she SHOULD be called out,’ said Heather Morris.
Amber Riley, who played Mercedes Jones shared two GIFs of herself following the allegations, one raising her hand and the other sipping tea.
Later, she made clear she wasn’t focused on the controversy amid the turbulent times of social unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, and would only speak on the topic once while appearing on Instagram Live.
She said, ‘I don’t give a s*** about this Lea Michele thing – I really don’t give a f*** … people are out here dying and being murdered by police. I don’t give a s*** about this Lea Michele thing — I wish her well, I hope she has an amazing pregnancy, I hope that she has grown.’
Meanwhile, trans model Plastic Martyr, actress Elizabeth Aldrich, and Real Housewives of New York star Aviva Drescher also shared negative comments.
The cast has also faced a number of tragedies over the years, and it has been claimed that the show has a ‘curse’ after a string of heartbreaks and horrors.
In July 2013, leading man Cory Monteith – who played football star turned singer Finn Hudson – died of a heroin and alcohol overdose at the age of 31.
Then, on July 8, 2020, former Glee star Naya Rivera, who played cheerleader Santana Lopez, accidentally drowned in a California lake while boating with her four-year-old son. Rivera’s body was found seven years to the day after Cory passed away.
Another co-star, Mark Salling, who Rivera dated at one point, killed himself in 2018 at age 35 after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
The Glee Curse: How TV’s cheeriest show has been plagued by tragedy and scandal… including drug overdoses, pedophilia, suicide, domestic abuse and on-set bullying
By Ciara Farmer for MailOnline
While Glee was easily one of the cheeriest shows to ever grace television screens, behind-the-scenes a murky curse has long-prevailed among its troubled cast and crew.
The death of Naya Rivera comes among a string of heartbreaks and horrors surrounding the show, including Cory Monteith’s accidental drug overdose in 2013, Naya’s ex-boyfriend Mark Salling’s conviction for possession of child pornography and subsequent suicide and recent rumors of unrest on-set.
The show ran for six seasons from 2009 to 2015 and throughout its time on air and the years following, trauma has reigned supreme – leading to claims of a ‘Glee Curse’.
Not so Glee-ful: While Glee was easily one of the cheeriest shows to ever grace television screens, behind-the-scenes a murky curse has long-prevailed among its troubled cast and crew (Pictured top row L-R: Chord Overstreet, Harry Shum Jr., Naya Rivera, Dianna Agron, Iqbal Theba, Heather Morris, Chris Colfer and Jane Lynch. Bottom row L-R: Kevin McHale, Mark Salling (floor), Amber Riley, Jenna Ushkowitz, Cory Monteith, Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison in 2011)
CORY MONTEITH’S FATAL DRUG AND DRINK BATTLE
Cory Monteith played Finn Hudson
In what was the start of the show’s behind-the-scenes demise, on 13 July 2013, Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, was found dead of a drugs overdose aged 31 in his Vancouver hotel room, after taking a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol. Four months before his death he had completed a stint in rehab.
Cory was dating Lea Michele at the time of his death. After news broke of his overdose, it was revealed that Lea rang his mother, hysterical and screaming: ‘Is it true?’ Following his passing, she released a statement.
Through her representative, the actress said: ‘Lea is deeply grateful for all the love and support she’s received from family, friends, and fans. Since Cory’s passing, Lea has been grieving alongside his family and making appropriate arrangements with them. They are supporting each other as they endure this profound loss together.’
Lea, who is expecting her first child with husband Zandy Reich, began dating Cory in 2012, and after his death, she said: ‘There was no greater man than Cory. So, for the time we spent together, I consider myself very lucky.’
Heartbreaking: Cory dated his co-star Lea Michele (seen left together in 2012) up to the time of his death. He was found dead of a drugs overdose aged 31 in his Vancouver hotel room, after taking a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol
Five years after his death, Cory’s mother Ann McGregor insisted her son had been on pain medication following dental work to cap his teeth in the weeks before his overdose and that he ‘never meant to die’.
She said he had battled his fair share of demons from a young age, drinking and smoking marijuana from 13, and with two stints in rehab by the time he was 19. While he managed to get clean for a time, he fell back into bad habits when he went to Hollywood.
Ann, who admitted her son began using drugs again in December 2012, seven months before his death, said: ‘He wasn’t ready for the Hollywood world. Drugs were his way of checking out’. After his death, she said: ‘I still can’t pick up the pieces. My world totally stopped. And I’m a different person than I was before.’
MARK SALLING’S HORRENDOUS CHILD PORN CONVICTION AND DEATH
Mark Salling played Noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman
The most horrific of the show’s woes was undoubtedly Mark Salling’s 2015 arrest and subsequent conviction in 2017 for possession of more than 50,000 images and 600 videos which showed girls, some of whom as young as three, being raped. It was described as ‘the worst pornography collection the nation has seen’.
Salling, who played Noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman on the show, had tried to conceal them by masking his IP address and storing them on an encrypted hard drive. They were revealed to police by an ex-girlfriend who he showed them to. She was sickened and notified authorities. In his plea deal, the extent of his collection was described in harrowing detail.
He was found dead from suicide by hanging on 30 January 2018 near his home in Sunland, Los Angeles. His death came shortly before his sentencing, which was due to take place on March 7. He had attempted suicide the previous year by slashing his wrists, after which he was treated for psychological problems.
Horror: The most horrific of the show’s woes was undoubtedly Salling’s 2015 arrest and subsequent conviction in 2017 for possession of more than 50,000 images and 600 videos which showed girls, some of whom as young as three, being raped. He is pictured left arriving at court, and right with co-star Naya Rivera, whom he dated for three years until 2010
Salling dated Naya from 2007 to 2010. In her 2016 memoir, Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up, the actress admitted that she was not surprised by his horrendous convictions.
She wrote: ‘I can’t say I was totally shocked. When Mark dumped me, I thought it was the worst thing ever, but can you imagine if that didn’t happen?…
‘And I was laying there in bed when the battering ram came through the door?’
Prior to his death, in January 2013, Salling’s ex-girlfriend Roxanne Gorzela accused him of sexual battery by forcing her to have unprotected sex without consent. He denied the charges and filed a countersuit for defamation. In March 2015, they out of court with judges ordering him to pay her $2.7million.
LEA MICHELE’S DRAMA BEHIND THE SCENES
Lea Michele, who played Rachel Berry on the show, has been plagued with rumours in recent weeks, after a host of cast and crew members have come forth to accuse the leading lady of bullying on-set.
Accusations of on-set bullying began with a tweet from Lea’s co-star Samantha Ware last month, accusing her of being rude to her on-set and behaving with ‘traumatic microaggressions’.
Others then piled on to the actress with allegations of their own, including Heather Morris, Dabier Snell and Yvette Nicole Brown. Lea was subsequently dropped by her sponsor, HelloFresh.
Morris, 33, who played cheerleader Brittany S. Pierce on the Ryan Murphy show, claims Michele was ‘very’ unpleasant to work with, saying: ‘Was she unpleasant to work with? Very much so; for Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she SHOULD be called out.’
Lea apologised and said she has ‘never judged others by their background or color of their skin.’ She also insisted she will learn from the mistakes she has made so she ‘can be a real role model for my child’ when she gives birth in a couple of months.
Naya and Lea famously had on-set friction, with the former writing in her book: ‘One of the Glee writers once said that Lea and I were like two sides of the same battery and that about sums us up. We are both strong willed and competitive – not just with each other but with everyone – and that’s not a good mixture…
‘We’re all stressed, yes, but we’re all working toward the same goal, so laugh it off and keep it movin’. Lea was a lot more sensitive, though, and it seemed like she blamed me for anything and everything that went wrong.’
CREW MEMBERS’ PASSING: ‘WE’VE LOST ANOTHER ONE’
Between 2013 and 2014, the show saw three heartbreaking deaths. Three months after Cory’s 2013 death, assistant director Jim Fuller passed away in his sleep, from heart failure.
In Season Four, a subtle shout-out was given to Jim, while Glee cinematographer Joaquin Sedillo wrote on Twitter after his death: ‘This is such sad news. Jim was such a great guy and was so good to me always.’
Then in 2014, the cast were left ‘devastated’ by the death of the production assistant Nancy Motes, the sister of Julia Roberts. Nancy died aged 37, after drowning in a bath on February 9, 2014. She was found surrounded by non-prescription and prescription pills, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner.
She claimed in her suicide note that the actress was so cruel that she ‘drove me into the deepest depression I’ve ever been in’. She described the Oscar-winning star as a ‘so-called sibling’ who should get nothing if she died – except the memory that she pushed her over the edge.
In the handwritten note, which was used as evidence in court amid a legal battle over her estate, Nancy said that Roberts’ abuse had been so bad that ‘I burst into tears because I wake up’.
Following Nancy’s tragic death, fellow production assistant Cristina Lageman spoke to MailOnline about Jim’s death, Nancy’s suicide and the concerns over ‘a curse’ on the show’.
Cristina said: ‘She was such a good friend to me. It’s just shocking. Yes, she had her own little struggles, but when we got together, we just bonded and she never let them get to her. It’s such a shock, what with Cory passing last year, then we had a crew member, Jim Fuller, die. Now we’ve got this hit and it’s almost too much.
‘Glee was like a family. We spent 12 hours a day together. We would refer to each other as The Glee Family. Colleagues have been posting on Facebook: ‘We’ve lost another one.’
All the stars that have spoken out against Lea Michele
Glee actress Samantha re-ignited rumors of Lea Michele’s alleged bad behavior on-set, when she responded to Michele’s post regarding the death of George Floyd earlier this week. Ware, 33, said: ‘Remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?!… ‘Cause I’ll never forget… I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s*** in my wig!’ amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood.’
Kicking off: Samantha Ware made claims about Lea Michele earlier this week.
Alex – who starred as Unique Adams on series for four seasons – promptly aired his feelings on Twitter. ‘We ain’t got not a damn thing to lie about 6 years later!’ he replied to one fan who suggested they were making false accusations about Michele’s behavior.
Actor Dabier Snell, who appeared in one episode of Glee, claimed he wasn’t allowed to sit with Michele on set, saying: ‘GIRL YOU WOULDNT LET ME SIT AT THE TABLE WITH THE OTHER CAST MEMBERS CAUSE ‘I DIDNT BELONG THERE’ F–K YOU LEA.’
Bad memories: Lea on Glee with Chris Colfer and Heather Morris
Morris, 33, who played cheerleader Brittany S. Pierce on the Ryan Murphy show, claims Michele was ‘very’ unpleasant to work with, saying: ”Was she unpleasant to work with? Very much so; for Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she SHOULD be called out.’
Supergirl star Melissa Benoist, who appeared on Glee with Lea Michele, liked a series of posts describing star’s bullying and abusive behavior toward castmates. Benoist appeared on Glee’s fourth season playing a character named Marley Rose. She sang a duet with Michele on the series. She also pressed the heart button on tweets from Glee’s Alex Newell and Amber Riley that essentially endorsed the spirit of Ware’s sentiments
Riley, who played Mercedes Jones in the through all six seasons, shared two GIFs of herself following the allegations, one raising her hand, while the other sipping tea. The response caused a stir among fans who saw it as a subtle way of the actress chiming in. Later, she made clear she wasn’t focused on the controversy amid the turbulent times of social unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, and would only speak on the topic once while appearing on Instagram Live. She said, ‘I don’t give a s*** about this Lea Michele thing – I really don’t give a f*** … people are out here dying and being murdered by police. I don’t give a s*** about this Lea Michele thing – I wish her well, I hope she has an amazing pregnancy, I hope that she has grown.’
RHONY’s Aviva Drescher
Even Real Housewives of New York star Aviva Drescher had a story to tell, commenting: ‘You were once very unkind to me so I am not surprised by your behavior. You shouldn’t judge others before looking in the mirror.’ Michele made disparaging remarks about Drescher during an episode of Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live.
Awkward: Lea slated Aviva on a 2014 appearance on Watch What Happens Live!
Scream Queens actress Breslin, 24, was another former co-star who was caught ‘liking’ a smattering of tweets about the controversy. Including one that read: “not everyone agreeing that something felt off about Lea Michele… where have y’all been i’ve BEEN saying this FOR YEARS??? i thought i was alone.’
Yvette Nicole Brown
Actress Yvette Nicole Brown also gave her support to Ware. ‘I felt every one of those capital letters,’ the Community actress tweeted ‘EVERY person on a set matters. EVERY person on a set deserves respect. And it is the RESPONSIBILITY of every series regular to make EVERY person who visits their home feel welcome. This dismissive attitude is what’s wrong in Hollywood AND the world.’
The Mayor actor reacted to an array of replies to Ware’s initial tweet, including one directly asking Yvette Nicole Brown: ‘I assume u feel the same since u worked with her?’
Under fire: Lea Michele in
Broadway actor Gerard Canonico, 30, was an understudy in the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening starring Michele and her BFF Jonathan Groff. ‘You were nothing but a nightmare to me and fellow understudy cast members. You made us feel like we didn’t belong there,’ Canonico wrote in a comment on her Instagram apology, which he had re-posted after claiming it had initially been deleted.
Actress Elizabeth Aldrich – who was Michele’s understudy in Ragtime – claimed on Twitter: ‘She was absolutely awful to me and ensemble. She demeaned the crew and threatened to have people fired if she was in anyway displeased. I used to cry every night from the mean and manipulative things she would do. She was 12. She was terrifying.’
Glee co-star Iqbal Theba said he was not mistreated by the star and took to Twitter to write: ‘Lot of people r assuming that @LeaMichele mistreated me. Let me state it clearly that I was never mistreated by her. And if some of the cast were treated badly then she has apologized for it which is wonderful. But being called a racist is too heavy & unfair a burden 4 most of us, specially in these troubled times.’
Trans model Plastic recalled an incident with Lea in the women’s bathroom at the 2010 Emmy Awards. She told The Sun: ‘She goes, ”Excuse me?” and she looks at her friends, looks at me again, and says, ”Excuse you, you’re in the woman’s bathroom”. I went from feeling like I was on cloud nine to feeling like a circus freak.’
Dean Geyer – who played Brody Weston, the boyfriend of Michele’s character Rachel Berry, for 14 episodes – had nothing but nice things to say about her. ‘Lea is still one of my favourite co-stars that I have had the pleasure of working with. She is extremely hard working and super fun to be around,’ he said.
The Voice star Jordan Pruitt chimed in on Friday, tweeting: ‘Everyone in Hollywood KNOWS that Lea Michele is a horrible human being …. she is a B**** to everyone. We all know it … yawn. Moving on …’