In 2009, Ryan Murphy’s musical TV collection Glee took the world by storm when it premiered on Fox.
The present rapidly catapulted its ensemble forged to superstardom, and its success culminated with 32 Emmy nominations, an Oprah Winfrey interview, two nationwide excursions, a 3D live performance film, and a collection of bestselling compilation albums.
However regardless of all of its triumphs, the legacy of the hit collection has been tainted by a so-called Glee curse because of the tragedies and destructive reviews which have impacted the present.
The “curse” is used as a blanket time period for the whole lot from the deaths of three forged members, to Melissa Benoist’s home abuse allegations towards Blake Jenner, her ex-husband and former costar.
And all of it has now been explored within the ID and Discovery+ docuseries The Value of Glee, which premiered Monday.
The three-part documentary consists of interviews with crew members, background actors, and shut family and friends members of the Glee forged — and they don’t maintain again on the subject of opening up in regards to the present.
Right here is the whole lot that we realized from The Value of Glee.
Cory Monteith was 27 years previous when Glee premiered in 2009, with the actor enjoying highschool quarterback Finn Hudson within the present. In 2013, simply weeks earlier than filming for Glee’s fifth season was resulting from begin, Cory died of blended drug toxicity involving heroin and alcohol.
Within the new documentary, a few of Cory’s shut mates element the affect that they imagine that Glee had on him and shed some new mild on his expertise with habit.
Frederic Robinson, a good friend from Cory’s house metropolis of Vancouver, says that Cory first began utilizing alcohol and medicines on the age of 13 following his dad and mom’ divorce.
All through his teen years, the star would typically steal “giant sums of money” from his household, and when Cory was 19 his mother and mates staged an intervention that ended with him coming into a drug rehab program in 2001.
Frederic admits that Cory was fearful about his “previous getting out” when he landed his function in Glee and that he wished to be “the great child.” Nevertheless, he was open about his habit with different folks in his life.
On the finish of the second season of Glee, Cory went public together with his historical past of substance abuse as he wished to be trustworthy with followers and “assist others who maybe had been in that very same scenario to point out them which you could come out on the opposite facet and do properly in life.”
However Cory started to wrestle as his star energy grew, and he even advised his former roommate Justin Neill that he wouldn’t want fame on his worst enemy.
“There was a interval the place it appeared Cory was getting increasingly remoted,” Justin reveals. “He simply received to the purpose the place he simply hated fame; ‘I’m simply so drained, I need to relaxation for a bit. I am sick of singing of those songs,’ and I bear in mind him particularly saying, ‘I would not want fame on my worst enemy.'”
Despite his struggles, it’s believed that Cory remained sober till shortly earlier than his demise. Dugg Kirkpatrick, head of the Glee hair division, claimed that it was certainly one of Cory’s costars who inspired him to begin consuming once more.
Whereas Dugg was slicing his hair, Cory confided in him that he had attended a celebration however resisted consuming alcohol.
“However he was advised by a sure forged member that very same night time, ‘You already know what? If you wish to have a drink, you must have a drink. I will be right here. You possibly can at all times belief that I will be right here for you,'” Dugg remembers.
The hairstylist refuses to call which forged member mentioned this “as a result of I wasn’t there, I didn’t hear the individual say it.” He provides that Cory was “confused” by the remark and “resented” what had been mentioned.
In keeping with Dugg, this comment “set him on a path to destruction” and that Cory began to drink once more “as a result of he was given permission by any individual that he cherished.”
Cory’s relationship together with his costar Lea Michele additionally comes below scrutiny on The Value of Glee, with the 2 placing up a romance in 2012 and remaining collectively till his demise the next 12 months.
A number of crew members mentioned they had been “stunned” by the pairing, and remained not sure whether or not Cory and Lea had been good for one another.
Additionally they struggled with Lea’s determination to maintain filming after his demise, with the present’s creator largely leaving the choice as much as her.
She was given numerous choices, together with taking a hiatus and canceling the present altogether, however Lea selected for everyone to return to work simply two weeks after their costar had died.
Chatting with Ellen DeGeneres again in 2013, Lea recalled: “I mentioned, ‘We now have to return to work.’ We now have to. They’re my household,” however lots of the folks interviewed in The Value of Glee didn’t help her determination.
Naya Rivera’s stand-in, Jodi Tanaka, says within the docuseries: “It was solely a few weeks. All the actors needed to simply pull themselves collectively and get again to work. Everybody was simply sort of compelled to.”
Lea has been on the heart of a number of scandals since Glee got here to an finish in 2015, together with her former castmates talking out towards her and accusing her of bullying and racism.
In 2020, Samantha Ware mentioned that Lea made her life on set “a residing hell,” and claimed that she threatened to “shit” in her wig along with a collection of different racial microaggressions.
Amber Riley supported Samantha by means of the exposé and mentioned that it had made her “really feel liberated,” Heather Morris added that Lea was “very” disagreeable to work with, and Naya mentioned that Lea “didn’t like sharing the highlight” and would pointedly ignore her.
Garrett Greer, an assistant to the chief director of Glee, fuels all of those claims on The Value of Glee. He manufacturers Lea a “narcissist” and alleges that there was “battle” each time Lea felt that the quantity of “consideration” she or her character acquired was below risk.
And Dabier Snell, who appeared in a Season 4 episode of Glee, remembers Lea banning him from sitting with the primary forged throughout their lunch break as a result of she didn’t suppose that he belonged.
“After we had filmed that scene and clearly there was lunch, Darren [Criss] was like, ‘Yo, you must come by. All of the forged members will most likely sit down.’ I used to be like, alright, cool. I used to be there perhaps 10 minutes after which I received pulled by any individual on set,” Dabier says.
“They had been like, ‘Hey, Dab, can I speak to you for a minute?’ And I used to be like, yeah, certain. So, she goes, ‘Anyone particularly on the desk would not need you sitting there,'” he goes on. “And I used to be like, what? So, she was like, ‘I am actually sorry about that. It is not about you. It is simply the individual there would not really feel such as you belong with the remainder of the group.'”
Dabier requested the crew member if Lea was the wrongdoer and says that they made a wincing face earlier than nodding to substantiate. The visitor star concludes: “Like, wow, I actually simply received pulled due to my standing on the present. I’ve by no means actually skilled something like that, even in a highschool setting.”
Naya’s dad, George, additionally says that Lea was the one person who his late daughter had “hassle with” at work, saying that they “hated” one another. He additionally alleges that Naya was briefly let go from Glee after she complained about Lea to manufacturing.
Naya was 22 years previous when she was forged as Santana Lopez in Glee, and he or she tragically died from drowning in 2020. Her physique was found after her 4-year-old son, Josey, was discovered alone on a ship.
Josey advised investigators that he and his mother had been swimming, however after she’d helped him again on the boat, she wasn’t capable of pull herself as much as security.
Talking on The Value of Glee, Naya’s father remembers speaking to his daughter through FaceTime shortly earlier than her demise — and the way he’d tried to warn her to be secure on the water.
George says that he had a “sinking feeling” though he knew that Naya had loads of boating expertise and was a powerful swimmer. He says: “I used to be FaceTiming together with her attempting to speak her by means of the pitfalls of attempting to anchor your boat. To begin with, I mentioned, ‘Naya, you are on a pontoon boat, that is not a ship… Why are you on a pontoon boat?'”
“I mentioned, ‘Don’t bounce off that effin’ boat. When you’ve received an anchor, you may anchor it, however are you aware tips on how to anchor it? We went by means of a pair iterations like that after which the FaceTime name hung up, and that was the final time I talked to her,” he goes on.
George additionally admits that he instantly feared the worst and “had no hope” when he received a name from authorities about Naya.
“I knew instantly after I received the telephone name in Knoxville that it was over with,” he explains. “You do not discover a drifting 5-year-old youngster asleep on a ship on the finish of a lake with out his mom and have any hope. I had no hope.”
Mark Salling starred as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on all six seasons of Glee. Simply months after the present ended, he was arrested on the suspicion of possessing youngster sexual abuse supplies after certainly one of his ex-girlfriends tipped off the police.
The actor finally pleaded responsible to the cost of receiving and possessing youngster sexual abuse supplies, with it reported that he had 25,000 photographs and movies. In 2018, Mark was discovered lifeless by suicide.
Within the docuseries, it’s maintained that Mark’s crimes had been an enormous shock to the individuals who labored on Glee, though some crew members admit that he at all times appeared completely different to the remainder of the forged.
“He was quieter, for certain, and stored to himself as a result of I believe he felt extra of an grownup than the others,” set decorator Barbara Munch remembers. “He simply was, you realize, a bit off. He wasn’t only a common younger man. He had some points happening, it appeared apparent.”
Whereas the deaths of Cory, Naya, and Mark are broadly identified to the general public, The Value of Glee additionally attracts consideration to the truth that a number of crew members died throughout filming.
J.A. Byerly and his brother Mitchell each labored on Glee as rigging crew, and he shares his perception that his brother’s demise by suicide was a direct results of the calls for of the present.
“On the rigging crew, you’re always working each day. Most of our time playing cards are at 72 hours,” Byerly says. “We do not win the Oscars, we do not win the Emmys, however we are the ones who make it occur. The intenseness of the present, I believe, received to my brother.”
Along with Mitchell, manufacturing assistant Nancy Motes additionally died by suicide, and Jim Fuller — who was in control of the second staff and background actors — died after he had a coronary heart assault on the age of 41.
A “lead prop man” named Paul additionally died when he had a coronary heart assault whereas jogging, and one of many “important stand-ins” who labored with forged member Matthew Morrison died immediately. Particulars of his demise stay unknown, however it’s thought to have been associated to a “automotive fireplace.”
Director of images Christopher Baffa says of the string of deaths: “This was an enormous set, lots of people… However to lose so many individuals, so rapidly, you see a sample forming there that to me continues to be unbelievable. Was that Glee or simply the business? I do not know.”
Glee’s important forged members are notably lacking from The Value of Glee, and a few of them beforehand shared their discomfort with the docuseries being made.
Kevin McHale branded the present trash earlier than telling In Contact Weekly: “Us and all of our mates don’t have anything to do with it, so we’ll see what occurs.”
“We’re not likely related to it,” Jenna Ushkowitz added to the publication.
They haven’t publicly commented on the present because it premiered.