Heather Morris has explained why she never said anything to show executives at "Glee" about the controversial behavior of castmate Lea Michele on the former hit Fox show. Morris, 34, who played Brittany S. Pierce during the show's six seasons, spoke about the situation on the latest episode of the "Everything Iconic With Danny Pellegrino" podcast.
Michele was called out by former castmate Samantha Marie Ware last year for making her life "a living hell" on the set with a series of "traumatic microaggressions." Several other cast members chimed in to support Ware's comments, and Morris followed with a tweet saying that Michele was "very unpleasant to work with" and that she "should be called out."
Morris also wrote that some of the blame was on the cast for letting her alleged behavior go on for so long without speaking up about it.
"I remember getting so much shade because people were like, 'This is so f---ing cryptic,' like, 'Why don't you just go and say it?'" she told Pellegrino about her tweet. "I'm like, 'Guys, she's pregnant, and all this stuff is going around, and it's true' — and I don't know if maybe we were victims of bullying, and that's a typical victim thing to do is to blame yourself, which people were saying. But it also is very true, and the only person who was honest about it was Naya (Rivera). And it was something that was very hush-hush on set."
Morris alluded to the climate of the entertainment world at the time, when it wasn't as common for bullying and harassment to be called out publicly as it is now.
"Now you see all these things coming out with these bigger names who were very disrespectful and mistreated a lot of people, and people allowed it to happen," she said. "We absolutely could have stepped up and gone to the Fox execs and said how we felt about the situation, and nobody really did.
"And so now we are living in a culture where it's acceptable to go do things like that, whereas I think many people were very scared. I know, genuinely, I didn't feel like it was my place. And I don't know why, because I was a cast member just like everybody else, and we all deserve to feel comfortable on a set."
Pellegrino asked her if it was a specific instance of bad behavior by Michele or more of an "elephant in the room."
"I think it was the elephant in the room," she said. "We all got close with Lea at certain points, and then we all weren't as close with her. And so there's a human element to it to understanding who this person is, growing with that person, seeing her try to become better. And taking care of herself after Corey (Monteith) passed. You know, it was just the elephant in the room."
"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 continued. "We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings."
Morris said she has not heard from Michele since the controversy, but wishes her "the best of luck," noting that Michele has "a little one at home" in reference to her 9-month-old son with husband Zandy Reich.