Lea Michele Calls Out Sexist Online Bullying, Dismisses Rumor Of Illiteracy As “Sad”

Lea Michele, who begins performances as Fanny Brice in Broadway’s Funny Girl revival next week, says she believes much of the recent online vitriol and trolling against her is sexist, and specifically dismisses the bizarre rumor that she can’t read or write as “sad.”

“I went to Glee every single day,” Michele says in a New York Times interview posted online today and set for this Sunday’s print edition. “I knew my lines every single day. And then there’s a rumor online that I can’t read or write? It’s sad. It really is. I think often if I were a man, a lot of this wouldn’t be the case.”

Michele was cast to replace the production’s original star, Beanie Feldstein, who in July announced her early departure from the production following tepid reviews, a Tony snub and widespread speculation that producers were eying Michele to take over.

But many of Michele’s online detractors predate Funny Girl by two years, going back to when Samantha Marie Ware, a Black actor who appeared on Glee, tweeted that Michele had committed “traumatic microaggressions” towards her. Another Glee actor, Heather Morris, tweeted that working with Michele had been “very unpleasant.”

Michele subsequently apologized, but has not specifically addressed Ware’s comments. In today’s New York Times interview, Michele says, “I have an edge to me. I work really hard. I leave no room for mistakes. That level of perfectionism, or that pressure of perfectionism, left me with a lot of blind spots.”

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