The grim end to a search for a missing Glee actor has sparked conspiracy theories of a fatal curse attached to the popular show.
Divers found the body of Naya Rivera in a Californian lake five days after she disappeared on a boating trip with her four-year-old son, Josey.
Tributes for the late star have already started pouring out online, with Glee co-star Jane Lynch leading the pack – but some users have pointed out a potentially sinister pattern.
“Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were,” Lynch wrote.
Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.
— Jane Lynch (@janemarielynch) July 13, 2020
The show provided light, laughter and joy for so many of its young viewers, but it seems that catapulting its cast into superstardom has come at a remarkably dark price.
Fans have highlighted the trail of trauma and tragedy that appears to have followed the main cast of the series, but others have been quick to call the supposed ‘Glee curse’ insensitive and cruel.
"glee curse jokes" are extremely distasteful and rude to naya rivera, cory monteith, the whole cast, and fans … please grow up and and treat this situation with the respect it deserves.
— abby :)! (@darrencwiss) July 9, 2020
Curse or not, the cast has been plagued with disasters and devastation, with Rivera becoming the third original member to die unexpectedly.
As mourners continue to pay their respects for Rivera, many have noted the eerie coincidence that her body was found on the same day (US time) her former co-star Cory Monteith’s body was discovered seven years earlier.
The leading actor who played Finn Hudson died on July 13, 2013, after overdosing on a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol.
Monteith had been open about his long-standing battle with addiction that started when he was just 13 years old.
Seeking help again for his addiction at a rehab centre in March 2013, it seemed Monteith was cleaning up his act, until his body was discovered by staff at a Vancouver hotel.
At the time of his death, Monteith was engaged to Glee co-star Lea Michele.
Salling was cast as series regular, Noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman, but his screen time was reduced in the show’s fifth season to a recurring guest star.
Following sexual battery charges in 2013 against his then-girlfriend Roxanne Gorzela, the actor was later arrested in 2015 when officers seized more than 50,000 images of child pornography in Salling’s possession.
Rivera, who had dated Salling from 2007 to 2010 when he was 31 and she was 19, commented on Salling’s arrest in her autobiography Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up, saying she wasn’t too surprised by the news.
“My son’s nanny actually told me about it when the story broke. I can’t say I was totally shocked, but still – WTF?” Rivera wrote.
After highly publicised and lengthy legal proceedings, and facing between four and seven years in prison, Salling died by suicide on January 30, 2018, at age 35.
Michele, who has been romantically linked to Monteith and Salling, found herself in the headlines earlier this year for all the wrong reasons.
The actor, who played Rachel Berry in the series, garnered backlash and allegations of racism and bullying during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests over incidents that occurred on the Glee set.
Michele had taken to Twitter to show her support for the cause, when co-star Samantha Marie Ware, who played Jane Howard, accused her of “traumatic microaggressions” and threatening to defecate in Ware’s wig.
LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD “SHIT IN MY WIG!” AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD… https://t.co/RkcaMBmtDA
— SAMEYAAAAAA (@Sammie_Ware) June 2, 2020
Following Ware’s tweet, a number of former Glee castmates and Hollywood A-listers came out of the woodwork to share their negative experiences with Michele.
Alex Newell, who starred as Unique Adams from 2012 to 2015, replied to Ware’s tweet with a gif telling Ware to “get her”, while Amber Riley, who starred as Mercedes Jones, showed her support by liking a number of tweets coming out against Michele.
Dabier Snell, who appeared in a 2014 episode of the series, said that Michele refused to let him sit with other cast members because he “didn’t belong”.
30 Rock star Keith Powell also weighed in on the drama, branding Michele a “terrible human”.
“I co-sign this. Lea Michele is a terrible human and has said terrible things to many types of people, including racist microaggressions to/about black people,” Powell said.
Michele has received a barrage of hate following Rivera’s death and has since deleted her Twitter account.
- Lifeline 13 14 11, Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636