“Glee” Fans Aren’t Happy With Matthew Morrison’s Tribute To Mark Salling

31 January 2018, 13:59

Matthew Morrison, Mark Salling, Instagram
Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images/Instagram
Katie Louise-Smith

By Katie Louise-Smith

Various members of the "Glee" cast have been sharing their tributes on social media - but some fans aren't happy.

It was reported yesterday (Jan 30), and later confirmed by his lawyer, that former Glee actor Mark Salling had died of apparent suicide. At the time of his death, he was weeks away from being sentenced to between 4 and 7 years in jail for possession of child pornography, which he pled guilty to late last year.

A handful of Mark's Glee co-stars expressed their sadness and sent their condolences in tweets and Instagram posts shortly after hearing the news. But, as expected, there hasn't been an abundance of messages for Salling at all.

So far, only Matthew Morrison (Mr Schue), Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester), Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina), Kevin McHale (Artie) Iqbal Theba (Principal Figgins) and various other crew members have commented on his passing on social media but every time someone has, fans have been quick to call them out because of Salling's disturbing criminal past.

In a video obtained by TMZ, Jane Lynch said that she was “broken-hearted” after hearing of Salling's "tragic" death. She said she'll remember him “as the guy who made that sweet video at the beginning of Glee when he was so happy to be part of this group.”

Thebal, who played Principal Figgins simply tweeted the words "Oh Mark".

Glee director, Paris Barclay tweeted a picture of him with Monteith and Salling in their early days on the set of Glee. Ushkowitz retweeted it and McHale liked it.

Matthew Morrison's tribute was singled out as the most controversial by fans for one very particular reason, however. He posted a picture of himself, Salling and the late Cory Monteith, who also tragically took his own life in 2013 at the age of 31 and captioned it with two angel emojis.

😇😔😇

A post shared by Matthew Morrison (@_matthew.morrison_) on

Fans on Twitter and Instagram took to the comment section to question his choice of emojis for the image, with many believing that it was insulting to Monteith to equate the two as equals.

"There’s literally no comparison between these two. One struggled with substance abuse and was gone way too soon and the other was a vile person who downloaded and redistributed literal child porn. This photo is so damn tone deaf that it’s sickening," wrote one user on Instagram

"The loss must be devastating so I respect your need to mourn, but an angel emoji? Really?" wrote another.

But for every fan that criticised Morrison for his choice of emojis, another fan defended him because he was simply mourning the friend and former colleague he once knew.

"All I’m saying is that Mathew obviously knew another side of him. It’s probably an extremely sad and confusing time for him. It was for me. I knew my friend did terrible things but I was still grieving. People shouldn’t attack someone for grieving," wrote one user in the comments.

Another user pointed out that it's ok to mourn the person that he was: "Whatever Mark did doesn’t change the fact the Matthew and him were friends. Matthew lost a friend. This is what this post is about. You can judge and hate on Mark on you own profiles."

Producer Tim Davis spoke out about the backlash against the tributes from Salling's former castmates.

Theba also tweeted his reasons for sharing condolences.

There are no rules on how you should or shouldn't grieve for someone - regardless of how they turned out to be. For many of Salling's castmates, his family and the people that knew him personally, his passing paired with his convictions must be incredible difficult to balance and come to terms with.

If you have been affected by the issues mentioned in this article, or know someone who might need help, please go here to find advice and information.