Ziwe grilling Glee’s Amber Riley on Lea Michele and racism is the best thing you’ll see this week

Amber Riley laughing

Former Glee star and current full-time legend Amber Riley appeared on Ziwe’s self-titled chat show to discuss a multitude of topics – including her controversial ex-colleague, Lea Michele.

Michele has been the subject of various claims of bad behaviour on the set Glee, which ran from 2009-2015, including claims she made life a “living hell” for cast mate Samantha Ware, who is Black.

While Ware hasn’t accused Michele of racism, others have. Riley has previously said that she doesn’t think Michele is racist – as Ziwe picked up on.

“You said that one of your famous co-stars wasn’t racist, did you mean that she was?” Ziwe asked Amber Riley.

Riley refused to give an answer, instead – as the subtitles put it – “shrieking in black professionalism”.

“Next question, I don’t know how to answer that,” Riley responded. “I don’t know which co-worker you’re talking about, I’ve had so many.”

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Riley squirms, while the show cuts to a clip of her saying “I am not going to say Lea Michele is racist” with the “Lea” bleeped out.

Intent on getting an answer, Ziwe asks: “Would you say that your famous co-worker doesn’t see race, and is instead rude to all of her co-workers?”

Riley replies: “She would probably say she doesn’t see race, but as we discussed earlier, everyone does.”

If there was any doubt the “famous co-worker” is indeed Michele, Ziwe’s final question on the matter is: “Who is more diverse, your famous co-worker, or your famous co-worker after she learns Spanish?” which reduced Riley to a fit of giggles.

Michele learned Spanish for her role in West Side Story.

The cast of Glee and show creator Ryan Murphy
The cast of Glee and show creator Ryan Murphy. (Getty)

Samantha Ware has said that Lea Michele threatened to “s**t in her wig” among other microagressions while they worked together on Glee.

“Am I calling Lea a racist? No,” Ware subsequently told Variety. “Does Lea have racist tendencies? I think Lea suffers from a symptom of living in this world in an industry that is tailored to white people.”

Heather Morris has also called Michele unpleasant and disrespectful.

In response to criticism, Michele denied “judged others by their background or colour of their skin.”

“What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people,” she wrote.

“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 apologise for my behaviour and for any pain which I have caused.”