Australian actor Dean Geyer has defended Lea Michele amid the growing backlash against her, after playing her boyfriend on Glee’s fourth season in 2012.
The 34-year-old is the first former co-star of Lea’s to publicly support her as she faces multiple accusations of on-set bullying.
Dean said on Thursday the 33-year-old actress was the ‘most welcoming’ cast member when he joined the hit Fox show, and that he never witnessed anybody being uncomfortable around her.
His comments come after Heather Morris said Lea had been ‘very unpleasant’ to work with on Glee, and Samantha Ware claimed she had made her life ‘a living hell’.
Support: Actor Dean Geyer has defended Lea Michele amid the growing backlash against her, after playing her boyfriend on Glee’s fourth season. Pictured: Dean and Lea filming in 2012
Dean – who played Brody Weston, the boyfriend of Lea’s character Rachel Berry, for 14 episodes – had nothing but nice things to say about her.
‘Lea is still one of my favourite co-stars that I have had the pleasure of working with. She is extremely hard working and super fun to be around,’ he said.
‘Her work ethic is so strong it forces you to always be on top of your game, and that’s something I looked forward to everyday on set. I definitely learned a lot.’
Dean added: ‘When jumping onto a hugely successful and established show like Glee, I went into it expecting to be known as the “new guy” for at least a month, but that wasn’t the case at all. I almost immediately felt welcomed, and to be totally honest, out of everyone, Lea was the most friendly to me.’
‘I can only speak of my own experience’: Dean said on Thursday the 33-year-old actress was the ‘most welcoming’ cast member when he joined the hit Fox show, and that he never witnessed anybody being uncomfortable around her
Memories: ‘Lea is still one of my favourite co-stars that I have had the pleasure of working with. She is extremely hard working and super fun to be around,’ said Dean. Pictured in 2012
Pals: Dean went on to say that he didn’t agree with the backlash against Lea. Pictured in 2012
Dean went on to say that he didn’t agree with the backlash against Lea.
‘I can only speak for myself and my own experience, but from what I saw during my time on set, there was nothing but professionalism and a genuine sense of community amongst the cast and crew,’ he said.
‘No one showed any signs of discomfort while Lea was on set. If I’m basing my opinion off my season, there definitely shouldn’t be a reason for a backlash.’
The former Australian Idol star, who recently released new music on iTunes and Spotify, concluded by saying he was ‘grateful for the experience and opportunity to be involved with such an iconic show’ alongside Lea and the rest of the cast.
‘Very unpleasant’: On Wednesday, Heather Morris (pictured), who played cheerleader Brittany S. Pierce on Glee, became the latest person to slam Lea’s behaviour on set
Statement: Heather said Lea ‘should be called out’ for the way she treated others for so long
On Wednesday, Heather Morris, who played Brittany S. Pierce on Glee, became the latest person to slam Lea’s behaviour during filming.
The backlash had started earlier this week after Samantha Ware, who played Jane Hayward on the show’s sixth season in 2015, tweeted that Lea had made her life a ‘living hell’ on set.
Heather tweeted: ‘Let me be very clear, hate is a disease in America that we are trying to cure, so I would never wish for hate to be spread to anyone else. With that said, was she unpleasant to work with? Very much so. For Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she should be called out.
‘And yet, it’s also on us because to allow it to go on for so long without speaking out is something else we’re learning along with the rest of society. But, at the current moment its implied that she is a racist and although I cannot comment on her beliefs, I think we’re assuming, and you know what happens when we all assume…’
Speaking out: The backlash had started earlier this week after Samantha Ware (pictured), who played Jane Hayward on the show’s sixth season in 2015, tweeted that Lea had made her life a ‘living hell’ on set
Apology: In response to Samantha’s comments, Lea apologised for her behaviour on Wednesday. She insisted she had ‘never judged others by their background or colour of their skin’ but acknowledged she had made mistakes
The bullying allegations came to light after Lea took to social media on Friday to pay tribute to George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who died in custody in Minneapolis earlier that week after being forcefully restrained by a white officer.
‘George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end,’ she tweeted.
Samantha quoted Lea’s tweet several days later, writing: ‘Remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?! Cause I’ll never forget. I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s*** in my wig!’ amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood.’
In response, Lea apologised for her behaviour on Wednesday.
She insisted she had ‘never judged others by their background or colour of their skin’ but acknowledged she had made mistakes.
The Broadway star also vowed to learn from her past behaviour so she ‘can be a real role model for my child’ when she gives birth in a couple of months.
Other stars, including Glee’s Amber Riley, have also spoken out against Lea, who was recently dropped by the food delivery company Hello Fresh over the controversy.
All the stars that have spoken out against Lea Michele
Glee actress Samantha re-ignited rumors of Lea Michele’s alleged bad behavior on-set, when she responded to Michele’s post regarding the death of George Floyd earlier this week. Ware, 33, said: ‘Remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?!… ‘Cause I’ll never forget… I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s*** in my wig!’ amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood.’
Kicking off: Samantha Ware made claims about Lea Michele earlier this week.
Alex – who starred as Unique Adams on series for four seasons – promptly aired his feelings on Twitter. ‘We ain’t got not a damn thing to lie about 6 years later!’ he replied to one fan who suggested they were making false accusations about Michele’s behavior.
Actor Dabier Snell, who appeared in one episode of Glee, claimed he wasn’t allowed to sit with Michele on set, saying: ‘GIRL YOU WOULDNT LET ME SIT AT THE TABLE WITH THE OTHER CAST MEMBERS CAUSE ‘I DIDNT BELONG THERE’ F–K YOU LEA,’
Riley, who played Mercedes Jones in the through all six seasons, shared two GIFs of herself following the allegations, one raising her hand, while the other sipping tea. The response caused a stir among fans who saw it as a subtle way of the actress chiming in.
Bad memories: Lea on Glee with Chris Colfer and Heather Morris
Morris, 33, who played cheerleader Brittany S. Pierce on the Ryan Murphy show, claims Michele was ‘very’ unpleasant to work with, saying: ”Was she unpleasant to work with? Very much so; for Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she SHOULD be called out.’
Supergirl star Melissa Benoist, who appeared on Glee with Lea Michele, liked a series of posts describing star’s bullying and abusive behavior toward castmates. Benoist appeared on Glee’s fourth season playing a character named Marley Rose. She sang a duet with Michele on the series. She also pressed the heart button on tweets from Glee’s Alex Newell and Amber Riley that essentially endorsed the spirit of Ware’s sentiments.
RHONY’s Aviva Drescher
Even Real Housewives of New York star Aviva Drescher had a story to tell, commenting: ‘You were once very unkind to me so I am not surprised by your behavior. You shouldn’t judge others before looking in the mirror.’ Michele made disparaging remarks about Drescher during an episode of Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live.
Awkward: Lea slated Aviva on a 2014 appearance on Watch What Happens Live!
Scream Queens actress Breslin, 24, was another former co-star who was caught ‘liking’ a smattering of tweets about the controversy. Including one that read: “not everyone agreeing that something felt off about Lea Michele… where have y’all been i’ve BEEN saying this FOR YEARS??? i thought i was alone.’
Yvette Nicole Brown
Actress Yvette Nicole Brown also gave her support to Ware. ‘I felt every one of those capital letters,’ the Community actress tweeted ‘EVERY person on a set matters. EVERY person on a set deserves respect. And it is the RESPONSIBILITY of every series regular to make EVERY person who visits their home feel welcome. This dismissive attitude is what’s wrong in Hollywood AND the world.’
The Mayor actor reacted to an array of replies to Ware’s initial tweet, including one directly asking Yvette Nicole Brown: ‘I assume u feel the same since u worked with her?’
Broadway actor Gerard Canonico, 30, was an understudy in the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening starring Michele and her BFF Jonathan Groff. ‘You were nothing but a nightmare to me and fellow understudy cast members. You made us feel like we didn’t belong there,’ Canonico wrote in a comment on her Instagram apology, which he had re-posted after claiming it had initially been deleted.
Under fire: Lea Michele in April 2019