Lea Michele is apologizing for the way she treated actress Samantha Marie Ware after being accused Tuesday of making life "a living hell" for her former Glee co-star. Michele said in a statement to PEOPLE that while she does not remember making the specific remarks of which she is accused, her memory of their relationship is "not really the point."
"What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people," Michele said in her statement, adding in how Black Lives Matters protests have put an additional spotlight on racism following the death of George Floyd in police custody, it is crucial for non-black people to "take the time to listen and learn about other people's perspectives and any role we have played or anything we can do to help address the injustices that they face."
Ware's condemnation of Michele's behavior on set came after the Scream Queens actress tweeted her support of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, which she said was "meant to be a show of support for our friends and neighbors and communities of color during this really difficult time."
She continued that the response she received from Ware and a number of fellow co-stars "have made me also focus specifically on how my own behavior towards fellow cast members was perceived by them." Michele added that while she does not remember telling Ware she would "s— in [her] wig," and has "never judged others by their background or color of their skin, that's not really the point. What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people."
"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, adding that with the ability to "grow and change," she has used the past several months to "reflect on my own shortcomings" as she awaits the birth of her first child with husband Zandy Reich.
Continuing to work on herself, The Mayor actress said she is striving to "better myself and take responsibility for my actions so that I can be a real role model for my child and so I can pass along my lessons and mistakes so that they can learn from me." She concluded, "I listened to these criticisms and I am learning and while I am very sorry, I will be better in the future from this experience."
Ware, who played Jane Hayward in 2015's Season 6 of Glee, called Michele out on Twitter Tuesday for making her time on the show "a living hell." She tweeted in response to Ware's message about George Floy, "[Laughing my a— off] REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISION GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD'S— IN MY WIG!' AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD..."