Glee star Heather Morris has apologised after she said her late co-star Mark Salling remained “a member of the Glee family” despite his arrest for possession of child abuse imagery in 2015.
Morris came under fire from Glee fans on Friday (18 December) when she criticised a fan for censoring Salling’s face from a cast photo by placing a vomiting emoji over his face.
The actor died by suicide in 2018 after pleading guilty to possession of child abuse images.
In a series of since-deleted tweets, Morris said: “The vomit face on Mark’s face is offensive.”
She continued: “I don’t feel the need to ever justify something because some things are better left unsaid.
“Y’all who have lots of things to say, I get it, I UNDERSTAND you… somethings are unforgivable. But this holiday season, amongst ALL holiday seasons is INCREDIBLY hard for so many of us.”
Heather Morris said late Glee co-star Mark Salling was ‘mentally sick’.
Referring to the tragic deaths of Glee co-stars Cory Monteith and Naya Rivera, Morris continued: “We did not lose just two cast members, we lost cast. And it is SO incredibly tough to have to act like that third one is invisible.”
She went on to claim that Salling was “mentally sick” and said that, while his actions were “unjustifiable”, he was still “part of our family at one point”.
Morris concluded: “Although I don’t want to have to say all that, it’s truthful. SO THANK YOU for treating me with such disrespect and unkindness during a time that I can’t get through a day without balling my eyes out at the loss of my entire Glee family… thank you.”
The actor faced strident backlash from fans, and eventually posted an apology on Monday (21 December).
“To all those who felt triggered by my message, I want to sincerely apologise for the harm I caused,” she wrote.
“Whether you, a friend, a family member has been a victim of paedophilia, I realise my words may have been insensitive to your experience and for that I can’t express enough how sorry I am.”
Salling, who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the hit television series, was arrested in 2015 for possession of child abuse imagery. He died by suicide in 2018 prior to sentencing.
The cast of the show has been hit by a number of tragedies, with Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, dying in 2013 following an overdose.
Naya Rivera, who played Santana Lopez, tragically died by drowning in July after she rented a boat at Lake Piru with her son.