Legions of fans and Hollywood peers expressed devastation over the sudden death of actress Naya Rivera on July 13.
Rivera died by accidental drowning. She was 33.
Since Rivera’s disappearance on July 8, however, fans have been grappling with the growing usage of the term: ‘Glee curse’. The term became popular in the media, due to several upsetting incidents over the years involving cast members of the Fox network TV show.
Now, as tragedy strikes for Rivera’s friends and family, fans have categorically rejected the term and deemed it inappropriate.
“I don’t think people mean to be insensitive when they something like ‘Glee is cursed’ but honestly… don’t. The show isn’t cursed — and blaming tragedies on ‘a curse’ is vile,” wrote one social media user.
“Pls stop talking ab the ‘Glee curse’,” another wrote. “We shouldn’t be saying they’re as [sic] cursed, we should be recognising their strength. The cast has gone through so many tragedies & they need support.”
What inspired the term ‘Glee curse’?
Several members of the ‘Glee’ cast have been in the news over the years, though none of their tragedies are comparable or interlinked.
The first tragedy to hit the ‘Glee’ cast was the death of Cory Monteith. In a heartbreaking coincidence, the discovery of Rivera’s body comes seven years to the date that her co-star and friend, Monteith, was found dead on July 13, 2013, of an overdose.
Monteith, who suffered from addiction and substance abuse from the age of 13, died of an accidental alcohol and heroin overdose in his hotel room in Vancouver.
He was engaged to co-star Lea Michele, who played lead character Rachel, at the time. Monteith’s death was written into the script of ‘Glee’ and the show paid tribute to the actor in season five, when his character, Finn Hudson, died.
It was years later that Mark Salling, who played the character Noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman on ‘Glee’, died by suicide in 2018 after being charged with the possession of child pornography in 2015.
He would have faced between four to seven years in prison after pleading guilty.
Rivera, who had dated Salling for three years, said she was not “totally shocked” when she heard about Salling’s crimes. In her 2016 autobiography ‘Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up’, she wrote about her regret over dating Salling and her relief that their relationship ended years before the charges against him emerged.
“Then I had no doubt that God really did have my back along the way,” she wrote.
Earlier this year, ‘Glee’ made headlines again, as main star Michele came under attack. Several cast mates and extras came forward, some accusing her of racism and others claiming she was unpleasant to work with.
Michele issued an apology in June on her Instagram and deleted her Twitter recently, after Rivera’s disappearance caused some to troll her on social media.
On July 13, many on Twitter reacted to Rivera’s tragic death as a continuation of the ‘Glee curse’. Some even went as far as posting conspiracy theories.
However, fans continue to speak out against the phrase, calling it “distasteful” and reiterating that, despite several instances where ‘Glee’ made the news, the various incidents cannot be compared.