Lea Michele Responds to Rumor She Can’t Read on Depreciating TikTok

Lea Michele debuted on TikTok this weekend with a bit of self-deprecating humor.

The ‘Glee’ actor joined the video-sharing platform on Sunday with a short clip of herself in lip sync to his own recording of “Don’t Rain on My Parade”. Hours later, she released a second video in which she poked fun at the weird race-joke-slash-conspiracy-theory that she can neither read nor write.

In the clip, a distraught-looking Michele can be seen making a fake phone call as a recording of Kim Kardashian, circa 2017is played.

“Call Jonathan to read me the comments on my first TikTok,” the video caption read, referring to Michele’s ‘Spring Awakening’ co-star and longtime friend. Jonathan Groff.

Michele has been plagued with jokes about her supposed illiteracy since 2017, when pop culture podcasters Robert Ackerman and Jaye Hunt search in a memoir written by the late actor Naya Rivera, who co-starred with Michele in “Glee.” The couple took note of a segment of the book in which Rivera recalled Michele refusal to improvise with actor Tim Conway while filming a “Glee” episode that aired three years earlier.

Noting that Michele never publicly responded to Rivera’s accusation in the book, Ackerman and Hunt asked jokingly if she was able to read at all ― and since then (mostly) tongue-in-cheek allegations about Michele’s illiteracy continued Your gain traction where social media.

Still, the actor’s willingness to participate in the gag via TikTok surprised many of his fans, given that she called the rumor sexist in an interview with the New York Times last month.

Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele.
Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele.

Bruce Glikas via Getty Images

“I went to ‘Glee’ every day; I knew my lines every day,” she said at the time. “And then there’s a rumor online that I can’t read or write? It’s sad. It really is. I often think that if I were a man, a lot of things wouldn’t be the case.

The fall is shaping up to be a busy one for Michele, who returned to Broadway this month for the first time in nearly 15 years in the revival of “Funny Girl.” In a very controversial cast reshuffle, Michele replaced Beanie Feldstein in the coveted role of Ziegfeld Follies comedian Fanny Brice.

Michele first performance where sept. 6 was met critical praise and seven standing ovations. But she tested positive for COVID-19 a few days later and had to pull out of 10 days of shows. She is expected to join the company this week.