“To all those who felt triggered by my message, I want to sincerely apologize for the harm I caused,” the actress, 33, tweeted on Monday, December 21. “Whether you, a friend, a family member has been a victim of pedophilia, I realize my words may have been insensitive to your experience and for that I can’t express enough how sorry I am.”
— heather (@HeatherMorrisTV) December 22, 2020
Morris made headlines on Thursday, December 17, when she responded to a retweet from her former costar Kevin McHale about the 10th anniversary of Glee’s Christmas episode. In the original post, a fan placed an emoji over Salling, who died by suicide at age 35 in January 2018 after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
“The vomit face on Marks face is offensive,” Morris, who played Brittany S. Pierce on the Fox musical comedy-drama, responded in a since-deleted tweet.
The next day, the Dancing With the Stars alum doubled down on her tweet, writing that she did not “feel the need to ever justify something because somethings [sic] are better left unsaid.” She went on to call the holiday season “INCREDIBLY hard for so many of us,” noting that the Glee cast “did not lose just 2 cast members, we lost 3,” referencing Salling, Cory Monteith and Naya Rivera.
“It is SO incredible [sic] tough to have to act like that 3rd one is invisible, because even though his actions are unjustifiable, he was a part of our family at one point and he was mentally SICK,” she continued in a since-deleted tweet before calling out the people who treated her “with such disrespect and unkindness during a time that I can’t get through a day without balling [sic] my eyes out at the loss of my entire Glee family.”
Monteith, who starred as Finn Hudson on the show, was the first Glee cast member to die after suffering a fatal overdose at age 31 in July 2013. Salling’s death came nearly five years later, and Rivera, who was close friends with Morris, accidentally drowned in a lake at age 33 in July.