Actress Lea Michele came forward with a lengthy apology for her "immaturity" after she was called out by her former Glee costar Samantha Marie Ware.
On Monday, Michele posted a Black Lives Matter tweet after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officers on May 25, saying:
"George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end."
But Ware—who played "Jane Hayward" on the sixth season of Glee for 11 episodes in 2015—was unconvinced of her past costar's sincerity and wrote an all-caps tweet reminding Michele that she made her time on set together "a living hell."
Ware also said that Michele's other "traumatic microaggressions" made her question pursuing a career in Hollywood.
She wrote, in full:
"LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISION GIG A LIVING HELL?!?!"
"CAUSE I'LL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD 'SH*T IN MY WIG!'"
"AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD."
Other costars also came forward to concur with Ware about Michele's behavior on set.
In response, Michele publicly issued a statement, saying:
"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."
She referred to her tweet supporting her "friends and neighbors" of color.
"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."
"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."
"We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings."
"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."
She ended her post with a vow to change in the future.
"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."
But not everyone thought her repeated references to how she was "perceived" versus what she did constituted accountability for her own behavior or an apology.
One Instagram user specifically cautioned those who are not Black to not let Michele too easily off the hook with comments like "proud of you" and "I forgive you."
"This apology is weak - it doesn't take accountability. 'i don't remember' or 'it was perceived as' is simply not enough."
"Lea, teach your fans and those you have access to on this platform to do and be better. comments like these both contribute to, and enable systemic racism regardless of if you don't know [or] remember."
"Apologies like this enable ideas that a simple sorry can erase the trauma you have caused."
Another user agreed that the actress lacked remorse in her statement.
One person gave a suggestion that would demonstrate real change.
PEOPLE reported that Michele "has reached out to a few of her former cast members and spoke to a couple of them."
But the consequences of her costar's online allegations already lead HelloFresh to terminate their partnership with Michele.
The meal kit company tweeted:
"HelloFresh does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind."
"We are disheartened and disappointed to learn of the recent claims concerning Lea Michele."
"We take this very seriously, and have ended our partnership with Lea Michele, effective immediately."
PEOPLE emphasized that Ware's accusation "did not specifically accuse Michele of any racially discriminatory behavior." The public ascribed racism after it was mostly her costars of color who voiced their issues with Michele. Several members of the LGBTQ community also made allegations against Michele.