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'Glee's' Amber Riley Discusses Lea Michele Controversy: "I’m Not Going To Say That She’s Racist"

Amber Riley Addresses Lea Michele Controversy: "I’m Not Going To Say That She’s Racist"
June 4, 2020 - 18:21 / Hayley Paskevich

After some of Lea Michele's former costars called her out for making racist comments, Amber Riley has now shared her thoughts on the situation! Find out what she had to say!

Amber Riley isn't interested in getting into drama when it comes to the controversy surrounding Lea Michele! On Monday, Michele came under fire after Samantha Marie Ware— who she worked with on Gleeaccused the actress of offensive "microaggressions" towards her. Some of Michele's other former castmates also backed up Ware's comments on social media.

As People reports, Riley talked to journalist Danielle Young via Instagram Live on Thursday, where the two discussed Black Lives Matter, racism and more. Unsurprisingly, Michele's name came up in conversation when Riley commented about her former Glee castmates speaking out on the issue.

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Amber Riley attends Nobody's Fool New York Premiere on October 28, 2018.

Riley says she hopes that Michele "has grown" from past behaviour

Riley said that she hopes that the actress "has grown" since the situation with Ware during their Glee days. "I’m not going to say that Lea Michele is racist. That’s not what I’m saying," Riley stated. "That was the assumption because of what’s going on right now in the world and it happened toward a Black person. I’m not going to say that she’s racist."

She then went on to mention how she thinks people need to calm down about the whole situation. "She’s also pregnant and I think that everybody needs to chill," Riley explained. "Y’all dragged her for a couple of days."

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Riley on Hollywood culture: "the Black girls are expendable"

Riley isn't dismissive of the truth, however. "But at the same time, 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," she revealed, "being terrorized by the white girls that are the leads of the show."

She explained how Black actors generally play the "sidekick" to a white protagonist, which has contributed to Hollywood's diversity problem. "We were even told, we were expendable; the colored girls, the Black girls are expendable," Riley explained. "I'm talking about the culture of Hollywood right now and how they treat Black characters, Black men, Black women. I’m talking about the culture."

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Amber Riley attends The Casting Society of America's 34th Annual Artios Awards on January 31, 2019.

Riley says she and Michele spoke for the first time "in two years"

Riley said that her addressing the controversy surrounding Michele with Young would be the "first and last" time she would speak on the topic. She also revealed that Michele did reach out to her, and the former Glee castmates spoke for the first time "in two years."

"I wish Lea Michele well, I hope that she has an amazing pregnancy, I hope that she has grown," Riley said. "... That [statement] she put out, I didn’t read it because I told y’all I don't give a s--- about it. ... She reached out to me, I responded to her and that’s where it ends for me. I ain’t talk to that girl in two years."

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She went on to say that she doesn't harbour any negative feelings towards Michele, regardless of the situation. "I have no hatred or ill will on that end," Riley added. "I want to make that very clear."