Glee’s Matthew Morrison reveals he asked to be written off the show

A screenshot of actor Matthew Morrison as Mr Schue from US show Glee

Glee star Matthew Morrison, who famously – or perhaps infamously – played Will Schuester on the musical TV drama, has revealed that he once asked to be written off the show.

In the years since Glee finished, the Ryan Murphy series has been rocked by all sorts of conspiracy theories, controversies, and memes upon memes about Will Schuester.

Fans agree that the Spanish teacher turned Glee Club coach was a wildly unprofessional figure at McKinley High School, from recruiting Finn Hudson for New Directions through blackmail to performing sexually explicit songs for his students to his severe mishandling of his LGBTQ+ students’ more sensitive issues.

Glee star Matthew Morrison once asked to be written off the show. (FOX)

But, it’s fair to say that despite all of his misgivings, Glee just wouldn’t be the same without Mr Schue.

It turns out fans came close to seeing what that might have looked like, though, after actor Matthew Morrison revealed that he had tried to leave the series after season five.

In a new interview with his Glee co-stars Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz on their podcast And That’s What You REALLY Missed, Morrison revealed that he was actively “trying to get off the show”.

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He told the podcast hosts: “In season five, I asked to be off the show because I was just like, ‘I’m no longer being used in the way I wanted to.’

“No disrespect to the show. We are at a high. I was like, ‘Maybe if I get off the show, I could go do something else, go do a movie,’ and they agreed to let me off the show.”

Plans to write Morrison off the show were eventually scrapped when Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, tragically passed away in 2013.

Matthew Morrison told his Glee co-stars that he wanted to leave the show after its fifth season. (FOX/Getty)

According to Morrison, the Glee team agreed that they couldn’t see both of their male leads leave the series so, after Monteith’s devastating passing, they asked Morrison to stay on.

“Cory passed, and then they said they couldn’t do it. Because you can’t have the two main guys on the show [leave],” the actor recalled.

“So yeah, it was an interesting time. I was like, ‘Yeah, I get it,’ you know, trying to reconcile my own wants and selfish needs with the grief of losing an amazing friend, you know, there’s a lot of mixed emotions.”

He concluded: “But I’m a professional. I showed up, I did my job. And there was a good pay increase, so that worked too.”

Morrison appeared in Glee from the 2009 pilot to the series finale in 2015 – though he’s notably absent toward the end of the fifth season.

Elsewhere in his appearance on Ushkowitz and McHale’s podcast, the Broadway star admitted that his mental and physical health took a toll amid the show’s success.

Jane Lynch (L), Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison and Ryan Murphy (R) in 2013. (Vera Anderson/WireImage)
Matthew Morrison appeared in Glee from the 2009 pilot to the series finale in 2015 – though he’s notably absent toward the end of the fifth season. (Vera Anderson/WireImage)

“I was so stressed, I broke into the craziest psoriasis,” he recalled. “Our bodies are not designed to go through that kind of pressure.”

He continued: “I think it was just everything building up and, for me that was just the physical manifestation of what I was feeling inside. The psoriasis was everywhere on my body but my face was okay. But then it slowly started coming to my ears and eyelids.”

While overall, Morrison said he “loved the experience” and “appreciated it for what it was”, but it was hard to put his body through 16 hours of work a day.

“And not, like, woe is me, because it was an amazing opportunity, but we were all there, it was like a war.”

These new revelations beg the question: did anyone actually have a good time on the set of this show?