Glee cast reunites to honor tragic Naya Rivera at the GLAAD awards – but Lea Michele skips event after co-stars bash her

GLEE cast reunited to honor the late Naya Rivera at the GLAAD Awards as she was previously a host of the show for multiple years.

Despite most of the cast coming together for this very special moment, frontrunner Lea Michele skipped the event after her co-stars bashed her.

Fans of the iconic Glee show will know that Naya's character, Santana, came out as a lesbian exactly ten years ago.

As a tribute to Naya as a person and the positive influence she had over LGBQIA+ and Latino fans of the show, the cast will be reuniting to remember some of her most iconic moments both on and off the show.

In an ET interview, Jenna Ushkowitz, who played Tina Cohen, and Heather Morris, who played Brittany Pierce, said of Naya's role on the show: "It's something to celebrate.

"It's something that marked a lot of fans' lives and affected a lot of people in the fandom because of her bravery as a character and seeing themselves represented on TV. Glee was breaking barriers at the time.

"It's bittersweet because we miss her so much, and I feel like there was so much more she would have done if she was still around, but the fact that we're able to pay tribute and honor the work she did do, and the effect she did have on people's lives, it gives us something to celebrate as well in her remembrance."

Naya passed away in July 2020 after a tragic drowning accident in California, where she used the last of her energy to save her son, Josey.

Demi Lovato, who guest-starred as Santana's girlfriend later on in the series, will introduce the tribute.

In addition to Heather and Jenna, the tribute will feature beloved cast members: Jacob Artist, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Jessalyn Gilsig, Dot-Marie Jones, Vanessa Lengies, Jane Lynch, Kevin McHale, Matthew Morrison, Alex Newell, Lauren Potter, Amber Riley, Harry Shum Jr., and Becca Tobin.

Noticeably missing from the line-up was Glee's main star, Lea, who played Rachel Berry.

However, this might not come as a surprise as fans know that Lea did not get along well with the cast and even Naya herself.

The former Glee costars were rumored to be in a feud, which Naya confirmed in her 2016 memoir, Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up.

She wrote: "We are both strong willed and competitive – not just with each other but with everyone – and that's not a good mixture.

"As Santana moved from a background character to one with bigger plot lines and more screen time. I think Rachel – erm, I mean Lea – didn't like sharing the spotlight.

"If I'd complained about anyone or anything, she'd assumed I was b**ching about her.

"Soon, she started to ignore me, and eventually it got to the point where she didn't say a word to me for all of season 6."

Last month, actress Samantha Ware accused Lea of making her life "a living hell" on the set of Glee.

Samantha tweeted that Lea said she would "s*** in my wig."

She later told Variety Lea threatened her job "and said she would call Ryan Murphy in to come and fire me."

Samantha played Jane Hayward in 2015 on the sixth season of the musical series.

Sadly, Naya hasn't been the only Glee cast member who passed away as Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, and Mark Salling, who played Noah Puckerman, also died during or after the show.

The annual GLAAD Media Awards will premiere on GLAAD'S YouTube channel on Thursday, April 8, at 8 p.m. EST.

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