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Lea Michele Just Trolled The Internet Theory She Can't Read On TikTok—And It's Kind Of Genius

Lea Michele Just Trolled The Internet Theory She Can't Read On TikTok—And It's Kind Of Genius
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for alice + olivia; @leamichele/TikTok

One of the internet's favorite jokes of the last few years is the conspiracy theory is controversialGlee and Broadway star Lea Michele doesn't know how to read.

And after a good five years of the theory becoming a full-on meme on social media, Michele herself seems to have decided if she can't beat them, she'll join them.

Just weeks after she decried the rumor as sexist in a New York Times profile, Michele subtly made the joke at her own expense in a TikTok she posted while convalescing from COVID, and it's got fans cackling.

See her TikTok below.


lol 😉🤪😌

In the TikTok, Michele used one of the app's popular formats of taking an old, seemingly unrelated piece of audio and using it as a piece of dialogue for an imagined scenario.

In this case, Michele mouthed along to a clip of Kim Kardashian from an old episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Michele via Kardashian said:

"It's amazing but wait, can you talk for a sec?"

Onscreen, Michele's onscreen caption read:

"Calling Jonathan to read me the comments on my first TikTok."

The Jonathan in question is likely fellow Broadway star Jonathan Groff, Michele's best friend.

The joking tone is far different than the one Michele took last month while talking to The New York Times, in which she shared her exasperation with the rumor and her belief it ultimately comes down to sexism.

“I went to Glee every single day; 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.”

The rumor began in 2017 when podcasters jokingly suggested an inability to read may be the reason the infamously combative Michele never responded to unfavorable stories about her that late actor and Glee costar Naya Rivera related in her memoir.

The joke then combined with many social media users' dislike of Michele to take on a life of its own, culminating in a lengthy video breakdown—since scrubbed from the internet—of moments from Michele's public appearances that seem to back up the theory.

Referencing the theory has since become a frequent internet-culture in-joke, particularly as Michele has re-risen to prominence after taking over for Beanie Feldstein in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl.

On TikTok, Michele's reclaiming of the joke left people laughing.










Michele's TikTok is actually her second after joining the app while on hiatus from her long-coveted stint in Funny Girl due to a bout of COVID-19.


#duet with @javirod305 #funnygirl Clearly I can’t wait to get back to @funnygrlbwy next week

Her first was a duet with another TikToker in which both lip synced to Michele performing "Don't Rain On My Parade"—Funny Girl's most famous number and one of Michele's most memorable performances on Glee.