Heather Morris is apologizing for her "insensitive" defense of late co-star Mark Salling after days of going back and forth with followers on Twitter. The actress, who played Brittany Pierce in Glee, first stepped into controversy last week when responding to former co-star Kevin McHale's retweet of images from a Christmas episode of the Fox musical show compiled by a fan, which featured a vomit emoji covering Salling's face.
Salling died in 2018 by apparent suicide after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography, which has led fans to censor stills from the show in similar ways over the years. But Morris didn't take kindly to the image, replying to the initial tweet, "The vomit face on Marks face is offensive." Going back and forth with fans who felt her response was a defense of Salling, Glee alum eventually shared a statement to her Twitter account Monday apologizing. "To all those who felt triggered by my message, I want to sincerely apologize for the harm I caused," Morris wrote. "Whether you, a friend, a family member has been a victim of pedophilia, I realize my words may have been insensitive to your experience and for that I can't express enough how sorry I am."
Morris previously doubled down on her opinion in tweets that have since been deleted. "We did not lose just 2 cast members, we lost 3. And it is SO incredible [sic] tough to have to act like that 3rd one is invisible, because even though his actions are unjustifiable, he was a part of our family at one point and he was mentally SICK. Yes pedophelia [sic] is a sickness but…" she wrote, adding in another tweet, "Although I don't want to have to say all that, its [sic] truthful. So THANK YOU for treated [sic] me with such disrespect and unkindness during a time that I can't get through a day without balling [sic] my eyes out at the loss of my entire Glee family... thank you."
The Glee cast has experienced a number of losses over the years, most recently with the death of Naya Rivera, who played Morris' on-screen love interest. Rivera went missing in July after going on a boating trip with her then-4-year-old son Josey and was determined to have drowned accidentally after being recovered days later by rescue teams. Cory Monteith was another Glee star to tragically die, passing away in 2013 of a fatal drug overdose.