While Amber Riley initially reacted to Samantha Ware‘s accusations of Lea Michele making her life a “living hell” on the Glee set, the actress has bigger things to worry about.
During an Instagram Live interview with journalist Danielle Young on Wednesday, Riley shared her thoughts on the controversy as some of her former co-stars have spoken out against Michele. While the actress definitely had things to say on the topic, she rightfully shared this isn’t where her attention is.
Referencing the Black Lives Matter movement following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, the 34-year-old confessed:
“I don’t give a s**t. People are out here dying, being murdered by police.”
She continued, admitting she wasn’t “going to say that Lea Michele is racist,” but noted the Glee set was “not the most comfortable environment” to work in. Even so, Amber shared her support for Ware speaking out about how she was mistreated by the show’s lead, adding how they FaceTimed earlier this week.
“I’m very proud of her for standing up for herself. I am proud of her not being fearful for speaking her truth… feeling was, ‘I am not going to allow you to jump on what is happening now when you didn’t treat me right.’”
Sadly, this isn’t a one-off experience in Hollywood for Black actors. In fact, in the days following Samantha’s tweet, she’s received more than a few horror stories from her peers:
“There were a lot of black actors and actresses that were in my inbox telling me their stories and were letting me know that they have dealt with the same things, being on set and terrorized by the white girls that are the leads of their show. We all know that a person of color and a black person is always the sidekick, it’s always number 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 on the call sheet. Very rarely are they number one if it’s not an all-black cast.”
Just this week we heard Vanessa Morgan‘s account of being a series regular on Riverdale, with her character only existing as a non-dimensional “side kick” for the “white leads.”
So, yes, it’s an issue!
Riley also opened up about her experience of being called “expendable” on one set, though she didn’t specify which:
“The stories I’m reading about how white women are using their privilege and the fact that they are not fireable, something that I was told once on set after having my own complaint. They know that they are not fireable and they use that privilege to terrorize their counterparts. These networks don’t have to give a f**k. We were even told, we were expendable. The colored girls, the black girls, are expendable. I’m talking about the culture of Hollywood right now and how they treat black characters, black men, black women. I’m talking about the culture.”
All in all, the Glee alum admitted she wouldn’t be speaking out any further about her former co-star’s controversy, adding she hasn’t even read Michele’s apology. Interestingly enough, the pregnant star did reach out to her:
“I wish Lea Michele well, I hope that she has an amazing pregnancy, I hope that she has grown. That she put out, I didn’t read it because I told y’all I don’t give a s**t about it…. She reached out to me, I responded to her and that’s where it ends for me. I ain’t talk to that girl in two years. I have no hatred or ill will on that end.”
Riley’s focus on the Black Lives Matter movement is important, and honestly, maybe Lea should be more concerned about what she can do now to help the cause, rather than work on damage control…
What do U think, Perezcious readers?? Watch the whole convo (below) and sound off in our comments!
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