Former “Glee” star Heather Morris apologized to fans for comments she made defending former her late costar Mark Salling, who played Puck on the show and was jailed for child pornography in 2015.
The incident kicked off last week, when Kevin McHale (Artie on “Glee”) tweeted a picture from one of the show’s Christmas specials with Salling’s face covered by a vomiting emoji face. In a handful of now-deleted tweets, Morris (who played Brittany Pierce on the show) clapped back at McHale, writing, ” the vomit face on Mark’s face is offensive.”
Predictably, “Glee” fans were outraged by Morris’ comment, and quickly logged into Twitter to drag her for defending Salling — who pled guilty to child pornography charges after being caught with over 55,000 pieces of illegal porn, some with victims as young as 3 years old.
“I don’t feel the need to ever justify something because somethings are better left unsaid. Y’all who have lots of things to say, I get it, I UNDERSTAND you…somethings are unforgivable. But this holiday season, amongst ALL holiday seasons is INCREDIBLE hard for so many of us,” Morris said in a Twitter thread she’s since deleted.
“We did not loose just 2 cast members, we lost 3,” Morris said, recalling late costars Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith.
And it is SO incredible 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 is a sickness but…”
Morris went on to say, “Although I don’t want to have to say all that, its truthful. So THANK YOU for treated me with such disrespect and unkindness during a time that I can’t get through a day without balling my eyes out at the loss of my entire Glee family… thank you.”
The backlash to Morris’ tweets was swift, with many “Glee” fans decrying that she chose to lump Rivera — who passed away after a boating accident on Lake Piru this summer and Monteith, who died of a drug overdose in 2013 — in with Salling, whose death was under a far different set of circumstances. Salling died by suicide in January 2018 while awaiting sentencing in his child porn possession case.
“Show naya and cory some respect, there’s no reason to group them together with a PEDOPHILE. and but? but what? he’s still a pedophile,” one fan said.
“He’s a f-cking pedophile Heather,” a Glee fan account replied on Twitter. Another fan said, “an emoji is not offensive, having thousands of pictures of ch*ld p*rn*gr*phy IS offensive, there’s no excuse, ifs or buts, he was a p e d o p h i l e, and his family has that burden to live with.”
Another onlooker observed, “@HeatherMorrisTV @druidDUDE i know he was your friend, but he wasn’t a good person, and you have kids, i can’t believe you’re being serious rn.”
After the backlash, Morris removed the original tweets and issued an apology Monday afternoon. “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.”
Check out McHale’s tweet and Morris’ apology below:
This album goes hard tho https://t.co/IeqDlhmk4Q
— Kevin McHale (@druidDUDE) December 18, 2020
— heather (@HeatherMorrisTV) December 22, 2020
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. RAINN’s national sexual abuse hotline can be reached at 800-656-HOPE (4673). Free and anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the U.S. is available from the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.