The ‘Glee’ curse: TV’s cheeriest show has the darkest history


Behind the scenes at “Glee” seems to have been anything but.

This week, cast member Samantha Ware blasted star Lea Michele on Twitter, claiming she made Ware’s time on the show “a living hell.”

“I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU [sic] HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD ‘S–T IN MY WIG!’ AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS [sic] THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD,” the 28-year-old wrote passionately after Michele shared support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

It’s just the latest dark tale from the Fox show, which was co-created by Ryan Murphy (“Hollywood”), Brad Falchuk (“9-1-1”) and Ian Brennan, and aired from 2009 to 2015. While the characters were dancing and singing songs, some of the actors who portrayed them were fighting, drinking, doing drugs and committing sex crimes.

A source who worked on the show, who declined to be identified for fear of retribution, tells The Post the cast frequently acted up behind closed doors.

“They did a lot of things in hiding that nobody knew about,” says the insider. “During our lunch breaks, they’d go off and go drink while they were working and then come back.”

‘During our lunch breaks, they’d go off and go drink while they were working.’

While many cast members would participate in these off-set excursions, the insider says the cast was anything but chummy.

“It wasn’t the friendliest place. It just wasn’t a friendly cast,” recalls the source. “They were very spoiled and bratty kids, and they got a chance to do whatever they wanted to do.”

Michele, who played character Rachel Berry, apologized for her behavior toward Ware, although she lost her sponsorship with HelloFresh because of the accusations. Cast member Heather Morris, 33, backed Ware’s statements, calling Michele “very much unpleasant” to work with.

Amber Riley, who played Mercedes Jones on the show, says she received many notes from actors of color who had less-than-perfect interactions on the “Glee” set, as well as other projects. “In my inbox there are a lot of black actors and actresses telling me their stories and were letting me know they have dealt with the same things being on set, being terrorized by the white girls that are the leads of the show,” she said while discussing the accusations on Instagram Live with journalist Danielle Young.

‘It wasn’t the friendliest place. It just wasn’t a friendly cast.’

Michele’s alleged less-than-sweet attitude toward her cast members was well known before Ware’s confession. Naya Rivera, who played Santana Lopez, often feuded with Michele on set, according to reports from the time. “Naya is jealous that Lea is the show’s main star,” a source told Us Weekly. “They talk behind each other’s backs — a lot.” In 2019, Rivera attempted to put the rumors to rest, saying, “I don’t think there was any beef.”

In 2017, Rivera was arrested for allegedly hitting her then-husband Ryan Dorsey in the head and lips. The domestic battery charges against her were dropped in 2018. Dorsey and Rivera divorced.

Michele wasn’t the only one misbehaving. On Wednesday, former show producer Marti Noxon tweeted that “on GLEE there were LOTS of bad actors. Who were NOT women. People in the industry know who I’m talking about.”

‘They were very spoiled and bratty kids, and they got a chance to do whatever they wanted to do.’

While Noxon did not elaborate on which cast members she meant, the insider also alluded to some misbehavior from the male actors to The Post.

“The guys were fine,” the source says. “I think they were young and bratty kids at the time, they were catered to a lot on the show.”

Actor Mark Salling, who portrayed Noah “Puck” Puckerman, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in 2017. According to documents, he purposefully downloaded thousands of illicit images over eight months in 2015. He was arrested in December of that year.

Rivera, who once dated Salling, wrote in her memoir that she “can’t say I was totally shocked” at the charges. “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?”

In 2016, a woman accused Salling of forcing her to have sex with him at a hotel four years prior. The LA County district attorney chose to not charge him with rape, citing a delay in reporting the attack, as well as insufficient evidence.

A month after his guilty plea in 2018, he died by suicide at age 35. His death has become a particularly awkward subject on social media — even for his ex-girlfriend, who claims she was unaware of “his dark secret.” In a clip from the show, teacher Will Schuester (played by Matthew Morrison) asked his students where they will be in the year 2030.

“Jail, or dead, or both,” Puck replied.

In 2013, Michele’s on-screen and real-life boyfriend, Cory Monteith, died at age 31 from an accidental drug and alcohol overdose. The actor, who played Finn Hudson, was open about his struggles with addiction before his death.

Monteith’s death was written into the show that year in an episode called “The Quarterback,” though they never revealed how his character died.

Given all the tragedy and scandal, when asked whether the cast is “cursed,” the source tells The Post the glee is simply overshadowed by gloom.

“I don’t know if I would say it was cursed, but it’s unfortunate for most of them,” says the insider. “The things that have happened with some of the cast . . . it’s very sad.”


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