'So You Think You Can Dance': Why Matthew Morrison Was Reportedly Fired as Judge

Matthew Morrison's exit from Fox's So You Think You Can Dance was reportedly the result of an "inappropriate relationship" with a female contestant. The former Glee actor allegedly sent the woman texts that made her feel "uncomfortable" and she went to Fox executives. When Fox announced Morrison was suddenly leaving the show last week, Morrison added that he did not follow "competition production protocols."

A source close to SYTYCD told PEOPLE Tuesday that Morrison "had an inappropriate relationship with a female contestant." Morrison and the woman did not have sex, but Morrison communicated with her through "flirty" direct messages on social media, the source said. "She felt uncomfortable with his line of comments and went to producers, who then got Fox involved. He was fired after they did their own investigation," the insider continued.

Morrison and the contestant, whose identity has not been reported, never met up "off-set," the source told PEOPLE. "It was just messages that crossed the line," the source said. Representatives for Morrison and Fox did not comment on PEOPLE's report.

Fox fired Morrison, 43, last week. "Having the opportunity to be a judge on So You Think You Can Dance was an incredible honor for me," the Tony nominee said in a statement to PEOPLE. "Therefore, it is my deepest regret to inform you that I will be leaving the show."

"After filming the audition rounds for the show and completing the selection of the 12 finalists, I did not follow competition production protocols, preventing me from being able to judge the competition fairly," Morrison continued. "I cannot apologize enough to all involved and I will be watching alongside you all on what I know will be one of the best seasons yet." At the time, Morrison and Fox did not further explain what protocols he violated.

SYTYCD Season 17 premiered on May 18. Most of the season was pre-taped, so Morrison will continue to appear on the show through mid-June, reports Entertainment Weekly. A new judge will likely not replace Morrison until the second part of the competition starts on June 15. Stephen "tWitch" Boss and JoJo Siwa are also serving as judges, replacing Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy. Cat Deely is hosting Season 17 but is not a judge. SYTYCD airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.

Morrison is best-known for playing teacher Will Schuester on Glee from 2009 to 2015. He won a Screen Actors Guild Award as a member of the show's cast in 2009 and an Emmy nomination in 2010. In 2005, he earned a Tony nomination for his role in The Light in the Piazza. In March 2020, he released his Disney covers album, Disney Dreamin' with Matthew Morrison.