Lea Michele Responds To Rumors She Can't Read Or Write

By Rebekah Gonzalez

September 1, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Lea Michele has some thoughts about a strange online rumor that she's secretly illiterate. The former Glee star opened up about it during her recent interview with the New York Times published on Thursday, September 1st.

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

The actress/singer also mentioned that she's been hesitant to respond to the hate she gets online for fear that "it will fuel the fire." The illiteracy conspiracy theory first spread online when a 40-minute video titled "Lea Michele Is Illiterate" made the rounds on Twitter in 2018.

The video has been taken down but TikTok and Twitter users have summarized its theories which claim that because Michele spent her childhood on Broadway, she didn't have time to go to school to learn how to read and write. They go on to say that Michele tends to only appear in Ryan Murphy's productions because he has agreed to feed her lines on set.

Michele is set to replace Beanie Feldstein in Funny Girl on Broadway. After news came that she wouldn't be taking on Barabra Streisand's role of Fanny Brice in the revival, which premiered in April 2022, the conspiracy theory resurfaced with fans citing her alleged illiteracy as the reason she didn't get the role.

And while it's her dream role, Michele has made sure to emphasize she felt harbored no resentment towards Beanie. "I saw the show. I wrote her and told her what an incredible job I thought that she did," Michele said in another interview with People. "I think that everybody just thinks everything is so drama-filled. I also think that people really love the excitement of pitting women against each other, which I think is really sad and unfortunate."

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