She May Be Difficult, But Boy Can She Sing


Lea Michele takes her bows after a performance of “Funny Girl” on Broadway.

Veronica Ramos, Staff Writer

The iconic musical revival Funny Girl, originally starring Barbara Streisand, has a new leading lady: Lea Michele. The response to this casting has been mixed, with some praising the casting decision because of her talent and experience in the industry. However, many are against Michele playing Fanny Brice, the lead character, because of Michele’s controversial past.

Michele’s first experience with Broadway was when she played Wendla in Spring Awakening. She quickly rose to fame starring on Glee as Rachel Berry, an ambitious (and sometimes obnoxious) girl with her heart set for Broadway.

During the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, accusations about Michele and her behavior towards people of color on set began to dominate social media. On Twitter, Samantha Ware, a former cast-mate on Glee, accused her of mistreatment on set saying, “Remember when you made my first television gig a living hell? Cause I’ll never forget.” This tweet opened the gates for others to come forward with their experiences with working with Michele. Glee co-star Amber Riley weighed in on the situation, saying, “There were a lot of black actors and actresses that were in my inbox telling me their stories and were letting me know that they have dealt with the same things, being on set and terrorized by the white girls that are the leads of their show.”

While Michele apologized, the damage had been done: she had lost a brand deal sponsorship and many were already turning against her due to these allegations. For many, it was hard to see how she could make a comeback in the industry. This was until she was announced as the next Fanny Brice and the Internet erupted with praise and criticism. Does Lea Michele get a pass just because she is talented? Or should she be held accountable? The Internet can’t seem to decide. If we hold other celebrities accountable for their actions, we should hold her to the same standard. After all, what she has been accused of has not been pretty, and makes you wonder how anyone could move on from that. On the other hand, it is evident that Lea Michele was born for the role. She has the voice of an angel and amazing stage presence. Watching her perform is mesmerizing for any audience member and proves that she is an amazing performer. Therefore, even though she has a controversial past, I think she is the best choice to play Fanny Brice.

In the wise words of Kurt from Glee, “She may be difficult but boy, can she sing.”