Lea Michele, Despite Bullying Allegations, To Take Over ‘Funny Girl’ Revival in September—And That’s What You Missed on ‘Glee’
Actress Beanie Feldstein will be leaving early from the Broadway revival of Funny Girl, with mixed to negative reviews from audiences and critics. But in pure dramatic irony, the person who will be taking up the role in September is none other than Rachel Berry herself, Lea Michele.
Variety says that ticket sales have been weak in recent weeks, and with the poor reviews, it might just be Feldstein deciding to cut her losses and go on to other things. She is just recently engaged to her girlfriend, and as someone who saw the show, while lacking vocally, I can say that Feldstein is a great physically comedic actress. This was just not the right venture for her.
“Playing Fanny Brice on Broadway has been a lifelong dream of mine, and doing so for the last few months has been a great joy and true honor,” Feldstein posted on Instagram. “Once the production decided to take the show in a different direction, I made the extremely difficult decision to step away sooner than anticipated. I will never forget this experience and from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank every single person who came to the August Wilson for the love and support you have shown me and our amazing cast and crew.”
Enter Lea Michele. Despite her talent, Lea Michele has become a toxic figure due to allegations of her being a bully and engaging in micro-aggressive racist behavior.
Back in 2020, actress Samantha Marie Ware accused Michele of being very rude to her and causing “traumatic micro-aggressions” in response to the latter posting a #BlackLivesMatter statement following the murder of George Floyd. Other actors, including former Glee co-stars Heather Morris, Alex Newell, Melissa Benoist, and Amber Riley, among others, confirmed Michele had been hostile and rude to others on set.
In response, Michele made the following statement:
“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,” she wrote. “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. 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.”
Of course, she did mention that she “didn’t recall” doing the things she was accused of.
During Glee, the character of Rachel Berry is very much a Fanny Brice-expy and sings several songs from Funny Girl, so many online have called this an example of “manifesting.”
“A dream come true is an understatement,” Michele stated on Instagram. “I’m so incredibly honored to join this amazing cast and production and return to the stage playing Fanny Brice on Broadway. See you September 6th.”
I have no doubt that Lea Michele is talented, and she already has the Broadway skills to carry this role. The problem is … has she changed since the time of those allegations? Has she evolved into a more thoughtful person? Has she tried to make amends with those she hurt?
Those things matter even more than her singing.
I hope so. Ware doesn’t need to “forgive” Michele, but hopefully, Michele can do the work and prove she meant the things in that statement. We will see.
(via Variety, featured image: Fox)
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