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Amber Riley: I ‘despise’ when people call me by my ‘Glee’ character’s name

The actor and singer says she wants fans to acknowledge her entire body of work.
AOL Build Series Presents Amber Riley
Amber Riley speaks during the AOL Build Series at AOL Studios on Nov. 17, 2015. Mireya Acierto / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Amber Riley is asking fans to stop addressing her by her “Glee” character’s name, Mercedes. 

“I despise when ppl call me Mercedes,” the actor and singer shared on Twitter on Saturday. “Call me AMBER or RILEY. It’s wild that I even have to say that.”

It has been nearly seven years since “Glee” aired its final episode, but it seems “gleeks” haven’t moved on from the beloved character. Riley made it clear that she wasn’t shading the musical series or the choir’s best diva, but she still wants to be called by her actual name. 

She continued, “I don’t answer to it, and if you do it facetiously I’ll block you.”

Riley quickly sent a follow-up tweet that said, “I’ve done too much in my career to be reduced to one role.”

The “Christmas Déjà Vu” star explained she doesn’t care if people respect her body of work, but called it “basic human decency” to acknowledge her as a separate person from the onscreen depiction. 

“Boundaries,” she simply wrote at the end of the tweet.

One fan commented and showed their support by writing, “If you’re ready to say goodbye to Mercedes then so am I. I wish you all the success in the world.”

Riley then clarified that she still values her time on “Glee.”

“I’ll never say goodbye to her, ever. I love her,” she replied.

Another social media user pushed back and recalled accidentally referring to actors by their characters’ names due to excitement. “Some people are just huge fans of a certain character and they don’t mean any disrespect,” she told Riley. 

Riley stood by her reasoning and wrote that she is “emotionally intelligent enough” to know when someone is trying to upset her by using the name Mercedes. “There is nothing wrong with telling people how you want to be addressed,” she tweeted. 

“Glee” aired from 2009 and 2015 and became a cultural phenomenon for its portrayal of teenagers, bullying and sexuality. Riley starred on the series from season one until season four. In the show’s fifth season, Mercedes became a recurring character. She then returned to main character status for the show’s farewell season. 

FOX's "Glee" Season Two
Riley as Mercedes in the "Glee" episode "Night of Neglect." FOX

Since “Glee” ended, Riley’s acting credits include roles in the television musicals “The Little Mermaid Live!” and “The Wiz Live!” as well as the comedy series “A Black Lady Sketch Show.”