Lea Michele thinks it’s sexist that people joke (?) about how she can’t read

Lea Michele is about to take over the lead role in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl. For all of her problematic behavior, Lea really is perfect for the role of Fanny Brice. The catch is that Lea is taking over the role from Beanie Feldstein, after Beanie’s run was somewhat disastrous and met with mixed (if not flat-out bad) reviews. There were conspiracies that Lea had secretly All-About-Eve’d Beanie but I don’t think that happened. I mean, I’m sure Lea was lighting candles and praying for Beanie’s voice to give out, don’t get me wrong. Lea is profiled in the New York Times and they do a somewhat exhaustive timeline of when Lea got the approach to take over from Beanie, and I accept the Times’s legwork on this – Lea didn’t do anything to Beanie, Lea just waited patiently for Fanny to come to her. The most interesting parts of this profile are Lea’s attempts to explain why almost all of her former coworkers have accused her of being a problematic a–hole, a racist and someone who threatens to sh-t in people’s wigs. Some highlights:

The allegations of racist microaggressions & bullying: The allegations prompted an “intense time of reflection” about her conduct at work, Michele said — which, she believes, has equipped her to be a part of, and lead, a Broadway company for the first time since leaving “Spring Awakening” in 2008. “I really understand the importance and value now of being a leader. It means not only going and doing a good job when the camera’s rolling, but also when it’s not. And that wasn’t always the most important thing for me.”

On Samantha Marie Ware’s specific allegations: [Lea] declined to address the specifics of Ware’s account, saying she doesn’t “feel the need to handle things” through the media. Ware declined to comment, but shortly after Michele’s “Funny Girl” casting was announced, Ware posted a tweet in which she said, “Yes, Broadway upholds whiteness.” Her account and tweets have since been made private.

Lea thinks the issue is her intense work ethic: “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.” She traced that psychology to her days as a child actress on Broadway, where, she said, the expectation to perform at a consistently high level often put her in a “semi-robotic state.”

She’s trying to avoid behaving like a diva. “Everyone here has been through a lot, and I just have to come in and be prepared and do a good job and be respectful of the fact that this is their space.”

The internet conspiracy/joke that she’s illiterate: “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.”

[From The NY Times]

Good lord, she’s bad at this. This profile made me remember that absolutely insane word salad fauxpology she gave to People Magazine after all of her former coworkers started calling her out. Lea actually IS the kind of person who “feels the need to handle things” through the media. She just does it badly. The issue was that Lea called background actors “cockroaches” and engaged in racist bullying to the point where a young Black woman almost gave up her dream of being an actor. The issue was NOT “Lea needs to learn how to be an effective team leader.” And no, it wasn’t “perfectionism” that made her treat people so badly.

As for the long-running internet meme/joke that Lea is illiterate… I’m so happy that you guys got her to respond indignantly. It’s so SEXIST to make jokes about her illiteracy! Of course, note that Lea didn’t actually say “of course I can read.” She can’t say it, because she can’t actually read your internet jokes.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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13 Responses to “Lea Michele thinks it’s sexist that people joke (?) about how she can’t read”

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  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    So, her PR strategy is to confirm she’s the worst. Success!

  2. Bettyrose says:

    Coming off days of Leo memes, the oppression Olympics just doesn’t resonate here. People make fun of Lea because she’s made herself an easy target with a history of awful behavior. Men get it too. (See also, statement above).

    • ELX says:

      There is something really wrong with her mentally. Some of the stories of her awful behavior date back to the time when she was a very young girl on Broadway. She’s not just mean in a way that can be corrected with maturity and therapy. I think she has some kind of personality disorder.

      • Aevajohnson says:

        I agree with your point but to be fair most personality disorders can be controlled, if not outright “cured” (meaning the person would no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for the disorder) through a combination of therapy and maturity so I think she could get this behavior under control if she really decided to put in the work.
        She won’t though, not yet at least. She still clearly hasn’t gone deep enough or been introspective enough to really take accountability for her actions.

  3. girl_ninja 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.”

    Whatever dude. You suck and you’re a damn bully. She has the same issue that Bethany Frankle has, her head is way up her privilaged ass.

  4. Christine says:

    She says she knew her lines, not that she READ them. That’s all I got. She’s insufferable.

  5. FHMom says:

    Misogyny is real, Lea, but that isn’t why people hate you. Maybe you should hire a tutor or something.

  6. manda says:

    so where would the can’t read rumors come from? Maybe she has a learning disability? I don’t care about her but I did see this trending yesterday and got really wrapped up in how it all came about (without doing any research to try to find the answer)

  7. dina says:

    Take several seats, Lea. What an idiot.

  8. Emmi says:

    She’s a terrible person. I hate the woe-is-me approach she always takes. No girl, you’re an asshole, not a perfectionist. How does “sh*tting in someone’s wig” (good grief) align with trying to deliver good work? Ugh.

    The problem is she doesn’t have to apologize or regret anything because clearly, her behavior does not stand in her way. Gross.

  9. Mrs. Smith says:

    So she didn’t deny that she can’t read? She sidestepped it with “I knew my lines”? Hmmm.

  10. lucy2 says:

    I saw the Broadway show account on FB the other day, and all the comments were people praising the understudy Julie Benko, and a few people questioning why someone with the problematic history of LM is being given such a platform.

  11. jferber says:

    I’d love to see some kind of trailer or clip of July Benko performing the role (or only audio of her singing). She could be a big name if they gave her the part. It could be a star making vehicle for her. Unfortunately, they prefer to go with the Lea Michele version. Too bad.